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Horse Being

Jérôme Clément-Wilz
Etre Cheval
France, USA 2015 / 63’

Karen is 51 years old, a former teacher, and he knows perfectly well that some people mainly associate him with Iggy Pop. His journey in the film Horse Being, which gets under way at a U.S. airport, is about transformation, a process in which he will guided by an American cowboy. It is thanks to him that Karen will take be taking part in a form of role-playing called pony play. His costume for the performance includes a leather uniform, boots with hooves on his hands and feet-each weighing 5 kilograms-and a bridle with ears and a mane. Rehearsal and the transformation itself will take place over a period of several weeks. The most important thing in the process is to be trusting and to submit to the will of his trainer/teacher. The entire experience will take place somewhere in the space between waking and dreaming. In the background, there will be a second horse who dreams of being a unicorn, and all of this will be accompanied by the musical leitmotif Sweet nymph, come to thy lover (Thomas Morley). The most important aspect of Jérôme Clément-Wilz's documentary are the fragments of dialogue with Karen, during which he talks about how fluid his sexual identity and cultural gender are, what pony play has given him, and what sadomasochism means to him. His confessions are sometimes very bitter: I've never been loved by anyone, and if anyone ever tells me [that they love me], I won't believe it.

Joanna Ostrowska

Jérôme Clément-Wilz

Jérôme Clément-Wilz is a director and cinematographer. He studied Management Culture and Media, as well as Film Production, in Paris. From 2002 to 2005, he studied at UC Berkeley (Art Practice, Film). He has collaborated with ARTE, VPRO, and RTBF as both the director and assistant director of creative documentaries. His short debut, Printemps, was screened at the festival in Clermont-Ferrand, among other places. Horse Being, his full-length documentary debut, has won several awards, including at last year's IDFA. Clément-Wilz is also a performance artist and photographer.


2015 Printemps (short, doc.)

2015 Un baptême du feu (TV, doc.)

2015 Koniem być / Etre Cheval / Horse Being (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Jérôme Clément-Wilz
screenplay Jérôme Clément-Wilz
cinematography Jérôme Clément-Wilz
editing Ael Dallier-Vega
music Benjamin Morando
sound Jérôme Clément-Wilz
producer François-Pierre Clavel
production Kidam, Vice Media France
sales Kidam
language French, English
colouration colour