Directed by : Camille Cottagnoud

Genre : Documentary

Duration : 55′

Year : 2007

Original version : French, Mongolian

Subtitles : French, English

Opposite worlds

This film is a documentary chronicle, exposing the adventures of a theatre company made up of European and Mongolian actors.

The theatre company “mondes contraires”, which means “opposite worlds”, intends on exploring cultural differences through the medium of theatrical expression. Their dream is to produce a play based on Gottfried Keller’s “Romeo und Juliette auf dem Dorf” together with Mongolian actors, to be presented on the Mongolian steppe in the traditional itinerant way of the nomads.

As things develop, the good intentions of the small troupe start turning sour. Confronted by the social, cultural and economic realities of a country in full decline, the Mongolian actors have decidedly different perspectives to that of their European counterparts, making it difficult for any form of complicity between the two. Intolerence, tensions and misunderstandings, often comical, put the project under extreme pressure. Can the mix of theatre and the magic of the steppe enable opposing universes to reconcile their differences?

“A motley crew of actors, dancers and musicians embark on a highly improbable project: nothing less than to stage and perform a show in the middle of the Mongolian steppe for the rare nomads who haunt these places. The idea of this collective is to confront different cultures and ways of working, and to draw both a show and a lesson from it. In fact, Swiss and Mongolian ways of working often clash, with the latter criticizing the Genevans for their total lack of organization. As a result, the story of their adventure is fraught with opposition. The whole story is based on the idea of travelling to the farthest reaches of nowhere… you just have to find your way! There’s a naïve spirit at the heart of this curious expedition that, in the viewer’s eyes, makes it so charming. And one fine day, in the steppe, despite all the vicissitudes, the show is put on under the surprised but attentive and smiling gaze of nomads from the four corners of the horizon. Camille Cottagnoud captures this adventure perfectly. Her camera never cheats, capturing the incredible beauty of the setting and the delicate relationships between the actors and the Mongolians, with misunderstandings sometimes being stubborn. MONDES CONTRAIRES is a slightly mad project, sometimes on the verge of nonsense, but not lacking in allure.”
Visions du Réel Nyon

Direction, images and sound : Camille Cottagnoud

With the participation of : Collectif des mondes contraires

Music : Christophe Erard, Zorrigo Bastotch

Editing : Bruno Saparelli

Sound mix : Mike Lichtman, Studio Sysex

Production : Climage, Stéphane Goël

Coproduction : Radio Télévision Suisse, Irène Challand, Gaspard Lamunière

Financial support : Fondation vaudoise pour le cinéma, Canton du Valais, Ville de Sion, Fonds Regio Films

© 2007 CLIMAGE – RTS

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