Eric Baudelaire – Letters to Max (2014)

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“Abkhazia is a paradox: it’s a country in the physical sense of the term, with borders, a government, a flag and a language, but it’s a state that doesn’t legally exist as, for almost twenty years, no other nation has recognized it. So Abkhazia exists without existing, in a liminal void, a limited space between realities. As such, my letter to Max was a bit like a bottle in the sea, a nod to Alfred Jarry and the world of Ubu Roi which Maxim seems to inhabit. Then fiction overtook reality.” Thus Eric Baudelaire launched a letter writing campaign, sending 74 letters in 74 days: a script for the voice- over of a film in which Max is the narrator. This exchange was to become the structure of the film: letters that should not have been received by Max, the recording of his replies, and footage of Abkhazia shot by Eric Baudelaire when the correspondence ceased. Continue reading

Eric Baudelaire – The Ugly One (2013)

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Winter, Beirut. On a beach littered with cans washed up from the sea, Lili and Michel meet. Perhaps they know each other from before. As they struggle to piece together the fragments of an uncertain past, memories emerge: an act of terrorism, an explosion and the disappearance of a child, Elena.

Woven throughout these fragments is the deep voice of a Japanese narrator who recounts his own experience of a weeping Beirut, and his 27 clandestine years fighting alongside the Palestinians as a member of the Japanese Red Army. His voiceover shapes Michel and Lili’s story, their fate dictated by the enigma created for them by this narrator who turns out to be legendary Japanese New Wave filmmaker Masao Adachi. Continue reading