Le grand chariot [Der große Wagen]
Preview – Spielfilm FR/CH 2022
Three siblings comprise the latest generation in a family of puppeteers led with passion by their father. They are magicians of a kind, but can barely make ends meet, working mainly for the love of their craft. Their grandmother contributes too, not only as a seamstress but also as a repository of memories and wisdom. A tragic event will challenge the desire of each sibling to carry on.
Exhibiting a masterful command of his craft, Philippe Garrel explores themes dear to him such as love, friendship, mourning, lineage, and the figure of the cursed and self-destructive artistic soul. What is most striking here, however, is his tender and romantic view of the family unit as a sanctuary, made more poignant by the filmmaker having brought together his three children before the camera for the first time. With the precision of a documentarian, this artisan-filmmaker offers a view of a world in which traditions are dying. Supported by some of the best in the trade including cinematographer Renato Berta, Garrel makes his puppeteer magic happen. His intuitive and incisive composition gives us moments of stupefying beauty.