The Special Screening presentation of Retour en Normandie
(Back to Normandy) marks documentary filmmaker Nicolas Philibert's third invitation to the Cannes Festival. In 2002, his
Etre et Avoir
(To Be and To Have) was presented out of competition, and five years earlier, he had been a member of the Jury which awards the Caméra d'Or. With
Retour en Normandie
, Nicolas Philibert explores his past. Thirty years have flown by since he worked as a young first assistant director to René Allio on
Moi, Pierre Rivière…, also set in Normandy. Philibert returns to visit with the region's farmers who, for the Allio film, fleetingly embraced an acting career.
"From the very beginning, it was obvious that this would be a film narrated in the first person, with its roots in my own memories and that I would intervene through a voice-over,"
explains Nicolas Philibert. "At the same time, I wanted to make a film set firmly in the present, not a filmed pilrimage, and finally, in relation to my previous films that nearly all focused
on a single setting, I wanted a more fragmented and freer form this time in which it would be possible to slip from one register to another, at times from one period to another, with as much
fluidity as possible."
Photo copyright AFP