We know of Nicolas Boone’s liking for fables, whether The Dispossessed (FID 2011), presenting a vision of the near future, or Hillbrow (FID 2014), which reinvented the imagination of a Johannesburg district. In Psalm, the location is not specified apart from contemporary indicators of sub-Saharan Africa. At the start, from the white background of the screen and as if emerging from an earthy dust, a small cart pulled by a donkey accompanied by ghostly fi gures arrives at a well. Drinking, fussing with a can, is their fi rst action and it is slow, long, necessary and primordial. Then they leave. From one scene to the next, the obviousness of which is imposed each time by a long sequence shot enveloping space that is both ample and fl uid, a post-apocalyptic landscape is drawn, the colours faded, without sunshine. Gradually this meagre mute cohort, a bitter community constituted by the accidents of wandering, encounters soldiers with worn-out weapons, children, madmen, deserted villages, archetypal fi gures from a possible war about which we learn nothing either. As for this journey on the verge of exhaustion, we learn nothing of its causes, but one gets the feeling it has distant roots. Thus, what seems to unfold before our eyes is wandering, exile or escape to a better land, we do not know; it is one of those movements of an original humanity in the horizontality of a landscape without borders. FIDMarseille
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