A feature documentary titled, Living/Building, that’s been buzzed about a bit this year, on the international film circuit, from 20-year-old French director Clemence Ancelin, making her feature film debut.
Described as a bare-bones filmmaking effort, Ancelin shot the film solo, primarily with a handheld camera using ambient sound, and no music, letting the stark images tell the story that’s centered on a large construction project, which involves a French company’s attempts to build a road across eastern Chad’s dry, isolated Sahel Desert; although the French company’s presence, long before they will see the effects that the new road they’re building will have, has already altered the lives of the people who live in the area… like Khadidja, who you’ll meet in the stark trailer that follows below.
Consensus in early reviews I’ve read are that it’s a challenging, and very worthwhile piece of cinema, that gives a comprehensive look on the matters it tackles – “documenting changes to the tough lives lived in this remote part of Chad. Villagers who exist completely off the land, their children in ragged clothes, are accepting of the idea of progress, even if they have little idea what it may mean,” as Screen’s review states.
The old tradition versus modernity struggle…
The film continues to travel; up next: the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, which runs from November 14 – 25.
Wath the teaser below: