Directed by : Stéphane Goël and Grégoire Mayor

Genre : Documentary

Duration : 23′

Year : 2015

Original version : French

Subtitles : German

Les sables sans fin de l’absence

Considered one of Switzerland’s greatest poets, Gustave Roud’s work is rooted in a very limited territory and sociological reality, the Jorat region of Vaud and its surroundings. Wandering endlessly along the roads of this tiny hinterland, the vagabond poet nourished his work with encounters with young peasants whom he photographed and for whom he felt an impossible desire. Gustave Roud, torn between a desire to belong to the world from which he came and a “difference” that would always keep him on the margins, sublimates in his writings the peasants who serve as his models. Questioning the way in which the poet was perceived in this very closed rural community, Stéphane Goël and Grégoire Mayor gather the testimonies of the last peasants in the region who knew Gustave Roud, who were photographed by him or to whom he dedicated poems. Flipping through photographs taken from shoeboxes and albums that are now unravelling, their accounts offer a portrait of the artist and the ways in which his complex personality was perceived by his contemporaries. The idealised rural world he mourned in ‘Campagne perdue’ is now no more than a memory, and his writings and photographs sometimes fuel the nostalgia of the very people who brought about the upheaval in the region.

Huguette Cherpillod / Ami Desmeules / Louis Duc / André Reymond / Jean-Louis Goël / André Ramseyer

A film produced as part of the exhibition “Gustave Roud, les traces éparses du Paradis”, Musée d’Art de Pully

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