News from the Locarno Festival

The Director – At the Core of a Familiar Relationship

The Director – At the Core of a Familiar Relationship



“The relationship between a mother and her son is the epicentre of all our lives”. This statement of Stéphane Brizé could be enough to describe the depth and the meaning of Quelques heures de printemps, on screening tonight in Piazza Grande. But it is not. “It is a movie about the difficulty to express feelings – the director claims – a problem that everybody has faced in his own life and involves a lot of silences, of never spoken words”.

The decision of Alain Evrard (played by Vincent Lindon) to go back and live with his mother (Hélène Vincent) at the age of 48 introduces a major turning point: her fatal illness which gives them only a few months to find a reconciliation, or at least a contact point. A situation which will reach its height in the last scene, when the act of euthanasia ends her pain.

“I know that this movie will make many questions about euthanasia arise, but it is not a militant movie. I made this choice because I think that the moment in which the mother dies is extremely powerful. Before shooting I collected many information about euthanasia, I watched some documentaries about people who chose to die and I always found moments of great quietness. Very touching, very sweet”.

In spite of the suffering lived by Alain and his mother, Brizé decided to insert some funny, short scenes lived by the couple and avoid framing the characters in tears.

“Well, I think that also in the most painful situations there is something funny that makes us smile. That’s simply life. About the tears, it is not matter of discretion: I am simply convinced that an actor who cries is not touching. I always focus my works not on the actors’ reactions, but on the audience’s ones. Everyone’s imaginative world is much more powerful in the representation of feelings, and my objective is to capture it”.

The importance represented by the audience will be evident tonight, during the screening in Piazza Grande. “Of course, and it is an enormous privilege to be here with this movie. The essence of cinema consists of shooting movies and make people watch them. I am very happy to do that here, in Locarno, with such a large audience”.

Mattia Bertoldi

Follow us