Parade

Frenchman Fabrice Champion trained for a career in the circus from childhood. By the age of twenty, he was ensemble Les Arts Sauts’ top flying trapeze artiste. But then, in 2004, this agile performer was obliged to reinvent his life when a tragic accident left him a tetraplegic. Trapped on the ground, he requires time to come to terms with his new existence, and his rehabilitation is both tortuous and exhausting. He is happiest when training up-and-coming young artistes at the national circus school in Rosny. Absolutely determined to return to the big top himself, he subjects himself to a rigorous regime and, together with Matias and Alex, two talented young artistes, finds a way to work with his body once again. Together they develop an acrobatic act that makes creative use of Fabrice’s spectrum of movement – and voilà – ‘tetrobatics’ is born. Adopting an economic observational style, Olivier Meyrou chronicles this paralysed acrobat’s development between 2007 and 2011. Forgoing the use of voice-over commentary and music, he follows Champion’s artistic comeback and creates a moving portrait. [Courtesy of Berlinale]