Directed by Juliette Boucheny, a France and Togo-based actor, screenwriter and director, this short was inspired by its creator’s own grandmother. Boucheny’s grandma struggled to cope after her husband’s death, staying at home and becoming lost between reality and memory. This film tells the story of Perle, a 78-year-old woman who has lost the will to live - along with her ability to tell what is real. But one Saturday in Cannes, her last few hours are spent with her daughter and grandson, discovering the beauty of life. Boucheny wanted to explore this subject to take on the taboo of old age, and show the beauty and sexuality of older women.
Juliette Boucheny, 'When my grand-mother lost her husband she didn’t manage well without him – and never left home for the last ten years of her life. She made the decision to lose herself somewhere between reality and her memories. I took care of her in Cannes where we stayed in her apartment and she shared with me her most off-the-wall, incongruous thoughts. I found it magnificent somehow – this disconnection she had with the present moment and this connection of hers to her inner self, her deep desires, her sexuality. I learned a tremendous amount from her about life. My family was very afraid of her “condition”: they found it difficult to accept her as a fragile person, her desire for solitude and her return to a very innocent, childlike frame of mind.
So I wanted to show what can scare us, show that one can accept such disconnection from a woman of that age because in truth that is what makes life beautiful.
I grew up in an omnipresent, male-dominated, patriarchal family, with very tough brothers. They are the very persons which make me want to talk about so-called ‘taboo’ subjects – which I think might widen their perspectives.
I also wanted to write this film to show the beauty of older women.
Old age is a taboo subject in our current society. In its eyes, a woman is only beautiful when she is young. I wanted to showcase the beauty of this woman, her white hair, her beautiful skin, the strength of her emotions. To showcase a woman who is sexually fulfilled and whose feminine powers derives from that fulfilment.'
An Extra Anecdote
'The lead actor and I worked tirelessly to find this state of loss and disconnection. I wanted her condition to have a certain purity and simplicity. Perle, in real life, is very scared of death. She actually does not want to die at all. She is in very good shape. I made her practice walking through a room as slowly as possible, keeping her eyes fixed on a point on the horizon, as if she were walking on a cloud or on cotton-wool, so she could feel light as a feather. She loved it. And what I got out of that was that state of disconnection that I was after to show her wanting to die.'