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Jour de nuit

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ISAN: 0000-0001-67E5-0000-A-0000-0000-7

Visions du Réel Nyon 2000
Berner Filmpreis

Jour de nuit

CH 2000 90'

Director: Dieter Fahrer, Bernhard Nick
Script: Dieter Fahrer, Bernhard Nick
Camera: Dieter Fahrer
Sound: Balthasar Jucker
Editing:: Maya Schmid, Stephan Ribi
Music:: Werner Aeschbacher, Tini Hägler, Bernhard Nick, Victoria Givre, Victoria Givre
Production:: Balzli & Fahrer GmbH
With: Peter Bergmann, Monie Maziane, Bruno Netter

Dieter Fahrer, Bernhard Nick 2000 90'

He sets his easel up towards the end of the valley near the waterfall, to linger, observe and paint. Just to be there, in the power of natural light. His house, the centre of his existence and his hearth in the winter months, stands at the edge of the forest. Paris, “Ville lumière”. A man. A woman. Both actors. Both blind. Blind in a blinding-dazzling world. Hearing in darkness. Seeing in darkness. Keeping alert. A play of shadowy figures emerges from the darkness towards the light, into the light: a playing child that knows only the present and in it recognises the wonderful “now” in which all things exist. A film about light, seeing and perception.

"The first light of this film sparkles in the water that a boat is gently cutting through. As a myriad of dancing reflections, it is fragile, intangible and mysterious. Then a large door opens, through which an enormous mass of light invades the space. But darkness quickly mingles with this enigmatic opening of a narrative. Three faces, three bodies – which bulbs of white light illuminate in bursts – pierce the night of a tightrope walkers' show (in Italy).
JOUR DE NUIT is the multiple story of forms of light as perceived by people who see light and who work with it. The painter who sets up his easel in a grandiose landscape in the Bernese Oberland (in Switzerland), the passengers on a boat gliding in semi-darkness along the Canal Saint Martin (in Paris), are searching for rays of light to give volume to the colours and consistency to the materials.
The film's intention is rendered more complex by the presence of people who cannot see or whose blindness is degenerative. There is this couple of actors who tell of the night they can see, a mother who is painting with her sighted child – a beautiful scene in which a shared creative activity transcends the handicaps. Thus gradually JOUR DE NUIT weaves a network of connections between the various, seemingly-disparate fragments, with which the film has a field day. This film is thirsty for the flavours of the world, its know-how (the felt boots), its culture (the theatre) and its voices (the characters' sober comments). Brightdark, day-night, hot-cold, summer-winter and indoor-outdoor are the pairs that the film-makers are clever enough to portray without oversimplifying. On the contrary, the associative and digressive pairs suggest a meditation about our perceptions, which turn us into solitary yet interdependent beings. Solitary like the blind beggar woman in the Paris metro who repeats in an endless litany “for my children”. Interdependent like all the people who, at the end of the film, leave the foreground to disappear together in the blinding light. Without being oversymbolic or taking the metaphors too far, the directors then complete as lay priests a film about a secular communion imbued with spirituality.
Jean Perret, Visions du Réel Nyon