Jacky Caillou, by Lucas Delangle, France, 1:32
An isolated farmhouse in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. A young man creeps up an old staircase and sticks a sound sensor to a door. We perceive a few words, strange and mysterious incantations. The door opens wide on a very small grandmother. Beside her, an old man breathes with difficulty. Downstairs, in the main room, a few people are waiting in an almost religious silence. The young man is Jacky Caillou (Thomas Parigi), the old lady, his grandmother (Edwige Blondiau), who raised him since the death of his parents. Magnetizer, we come to see her from afar in the country. His sudden death will force Jacky to choose his path, his life. In this valley where time seems to have stopped, a wolf attacks the sheep. The animal prowls, provoking hostile reactions among the shepherds. What ailment does this young girl, Elsa (Lou Lampros), suffer for a gray spot, a sort of burn, to appear on her back? What is his secret? She arrived one morning, with her father (Jean-Louis Coulloc’h), at the healing grandmother’s, the last resort in the face of the scientists’ inability to treat her. When the grandmother dies, Jacky takes over, determined to cure Elsa of her illness.
A story of beliefs and love
For his first feature film, Lucas Delangle films a story of beliefs and love in a landscape where nature, of breathtaking beauty, conceals its share of mystery and power. He films faces sculpted by time and stubborn silences that hold ancestral secrets; he films the days passing by to the rhythm of the sun, and the starry nights bring us back to our simple condition as earthlings; he delicately films this impossible love between this young healer who dreams of performing a miracle and this young wolf-girl. A fiction that is both naturalistic and fantastic, the story weaves bridges between rational and irrational, between dreams and a reality that always seems to elude us.
Jacky Caillou is a hymn to nature, to these landlocked territories where men have learned to live with it in perfect harmony.
To signify the magnetic power, no need for special effects, just tight shots of outstretched hands, concentrated faces, capable of extinguishing one by one the streetlights of the village at the bottom of the valley. The supernatural becomes familiar to us, the one that allows us to explain the inexplicable, both strange and benevolent. The film conceals shots as powerful as a painting, like this long ascent in the mountain to go to meditate on the tomb of the parents. In a steep and rocky path, we can barely make out two silhouettes advancing slowly. A plan of perfect harmony, like a freeze frame where the immensity of the mountains stands out against a Goya-like sky and gives the viewer time to discover the characters little by little.
Jacky Pebble is a hymn to nature, to these landlocked territories where men have learned to live with it, in perfect harmony. Don’t look for nostalgia there, you won’t find any. This tale is conjugated in the present. Interpreted by professional and amateur actors, everyone finds their place in this story surprising by its audacity, its outline which draws, step by step, look after look, a humanity too often ignored.