Mouton (French for sheep), a 17-year-old boy who does not speak, finally breaks free of his alcoholic mother. The intimate but non-intrusive lens of Éric Alirol observes the boy from over his shoulder, following his first steps as an adult. Through the minutiae of everyday life – the hustle and bustle of a restaurant kitchen, walks along the beach, and his first time kissing a girl – the film paints a sensitive picture of life in a windswept village on the Atlantic. It seems, at first, that Sheep is following the well-known path of realism taken by, among others, the great characters in the films by the Dardenne brothers, but this time the directors take an unexpected turn. Gilles Deroo and Marianne Pistone suddenly turn their gaze away from Mouton in order to break the story apart and allow it to meander among memories of places, people, and objects. Reflections on the fragility of presence penetrate the rawness of the film’s cinéma-vérité style. As a result, Sheep becomes a melancholy impression of the meaning of chance in a life (and on a film set) in which nothing is really left to chance.
Locarno IFF 2013 – Best First Feature, Special Jury Prize – Filmmakers of the Present
Marianne Pistone (born in 1976) and Gilles Deroo (born in 1969) live and work in Lille. They met at Vidéorème, an association for documentary filmmakers in Roubaix, a little town near the border with Belgium. After making several of their own individual short films, they began working together on the screenplay for Vivat (qu’il vive), which Deroo then directed. In 2008, they were both behind the camera on the set of Hiver (Les grands chats). That same year, they also founded the independent production company Boule de suif. Sheep is their first joint feature film.
2006 Vivat (qu’il vive) (short)
2006 Hiver (Les grands chats) (short)
2013 Owca / Mouton / The Sheep