Pneuma, πνεῦμα⧵’pneu̯.ma⧵neutre. 1. Breath: breath of the wind, expiration of air, respiration. 2. Divine breath: Divine spirit, Holy Ghost. 3. Warm air that brings life.
In ancient Greek culture, the logos and cosmos were not separate, but formed a cultivated whole. This may have been what our life in the Garden of Eden was like: a celebration of nature, including our own, as a divine gift, before we aspired to appropriate knowledge of good and evil. At what moment in their evolution, and in the name of what necessity did humans break with nature, and with themselves as nature?
Pneuma is a film-essay, a cross between experimental fiction and documentary divided up into three chapters, which interrogates the deep foundations of our western culture through a critical genealogy of our relation to the vegetal. Taking a biographical detour, the director links the personal and the political and makes palpable the links between the Christian heritage and the advent of capitalism. This produced what Starwhak describes as the culture of distancing, a culture that still characterises the modern world. At a time when life is threatened on all sides, when alterity is experienced through the prism of power and fear, this film attempts to reverse the narrative of a tradition that is unfaithful to life, in which each person is condemned to be in exile from themself.
When vegetable life is seen to move by the naked eye, when men are grabbing hold of trees and toxic plants are taking revenge on humanity, it looks as if our place in the cosmos needs to be reclaimed. We urgently need to (re)invent a multi-species “us.”
Frédéric D. Oberland, ma chère famille, Lucile Mercier, Margaux Serre, Renaud Bajeux, Lucie Marty, Étienne Lesur, Wim Van Egmond, Lucie Bercez, Camille Jamain, Yosra Mojtahedi, Kendra Mc Laughlin, Guillaume Mattana, Florian Berthellot, Cédric Degalez, Laurent Ripoll, Romain Ozanne, Christophe Manon, Camille Richert, Emilien Awada, Faye Formisano, Cindy Coutant, Louisette Pitau, Mr et Mme Denis, Jona, Grégoire Couvert, Antoine Flament, Frédérique & Jean-Pierre Frances, Philip Bouffil, Sacha Paula, Nathalie Poncer, Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand, Sandrine D’Haene, Éric Prigent, Aurélie Brouet, Blandine Tourneux, Deborah Drelon, Madeleine Van Doren, Daniel Dobbels, Luc Hossepied, Benoît Hické, Emanuele Coccia, Eline Grignard, Olivier Cheval, Antoine Granier, Stéphanie Gervot et tous mes camarades du Fresnoy.
Fanny Béguély was born in Antibes in 1990. Her practice moves between photography and performance. She studied literature in classe préparatoire in Nancy and cinema at the Université Paris 3 and ENSAV in Toulouse. In her work she explores the invisible, the living, the abolition of boundaries between the physical and the spiritual, and the quest for a less anthropocentric perspective. Her works have been shown at the Galerie Jocelyn Wolff (Paris), the Voies Off des Rencontres de la Photographie (Arles), GESTE : Matérialité photographique (Paris), Côté Court (Pantin) and Blow-up Arthouse International Film Festival (Chicago).Cursus
2018-2020: Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing
2017: École Nationale Supérieure d'Audiovisuel (ENSAV), Toulouse
2012: Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, Master recherche en Études Cinématographiques, parcours "Le cinéma et les arts : Esthétique et Histoire de l’art" et "Expérimentations", Paris
2009: Hypokhâgne et Khâgne, Lycée Henri Poincaré, Nancy