DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Stepping Out

Stepping Out

What does it mean to tell one’s life story on a theatre stage and put oneself in the limelight? You can see how much effort this costs the people who dare take this step. They aren’t used to being the centre of attention. They are formed by an institution created to equalise individuals and reduce personal freedom to a minimum: prison. In his stage project “Une longue peine” with Louis, Éric, André, Alain and Annette, theatre director Didier Ruiz embarks upon an emotional journey in the course of which we begin to feel what it means to hand over control of your own life to someone else.

Documentary filmmaker Stéphane Mercurio does not record the production but the path leading up to it. With great calm and reserve she follows the process of remembering and overcoming obstacles, gradually revealing the scars prison left on their bodies and souls. The stage becomes a field of experimentation for emotions that had no place in prison. The skilled lone fighters experience how beneficial it can be to trust the other. The opening of the curtain on the first night marks the end of the film. Not a film about what’s said but about what remains unspeakable.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Original Title: Après l’ombre
Country: France
Year: 2017
Language: French
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 93 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Stéphane Mercurio
Producer: Viviane Aquilli
Cinematographer: Mathieu Bertholet, Stéphane Mercurio
Editor: Nicolas Chopin-Després
Sound: Dana Farzanehpour, Julien Brossier

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.