In To Be and to Have, Every Little Thing, or In the Land of the Deaf, Nicolas Philibert found places like a school, a museum or a psychiatric institute and stayed there to observe what was going on in front of him. Direct cinema was his only cinematographic choice. With “Back to Normandy” we hear the sound of his voice over the images, which gives us the clues for entering a much more complex structure.
The director evokes the shooting of a fiction film in 1975 by René Allio in which Philibert was the director’s first assistant: “I, Pierre Rivière, Having slaughtered my mother, my brother and my sister”. This fiction film was based on the writings of a man who killed his entire family in the 19th century and was filmed using amateur actors, all of whom were local farmers.
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