by Stephanie Pillonca
French documentary, 1 h 45
The quote from Albert Camus, which gives the film its title, appears in the credits: “In the middle of winter, I finally learned that there was an invincible summer within me. » The middle of winter, for Olivier Goy, the hero of this intense documentary, is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Charcot’s disease, a terrible illness that gradually paralyzes vital functions and condemns to asphyxiation. Average lifespan: three years. At the time of filming, Olivier Goy, dynamic father, charismatic boss, had been diagnosed for two years.
How do you stay upright when your body lets you down? How do you tame the death to come, when you know the battle is lost in advance? By facing the remaining time with panache. While living. By loving. This is what director Stéphanie Pillonca films, with a human and solar eye. “I embody the expression Carpe diemI live in the present, confides Olivier Goy, on screen. As if, knowing his hours counted, he concentrated his existence. “He goes like a fighter, not like someone who resigns himself”, also says his wife.
Show the strength of the fragile
In his previous world, Olivier Goy had two passions: the world of business and photography. He did not abandon them. He “adapted” them. Stéphanie Pillonca’s camera follows her stubborn, undefeated hero on a trip to Antarctica, boxes in hand. He will bring back pictures sold for the benefit of research (1). She accompanies him during his meetings with personalities such as Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur or the photographer Sebastião Salgado, filmed with his son, suffering from trisomy 21. She finally captures him in his daily life, when your dog’s hug or kiss of one of your sons brightens up a day.
Olivier Goy wants to show the strength of the fragile. He says it’s his fight for others, his mission. As luminous as the documentary is – a habit with Stéphanie Pillonca, who likes to highlight characters who are not as vulnerable as one might think – the documentary does not hide the horror of Charcot’s disease: wandering medical before the diagnosis, the shock of the announcement, the forces that abandon you, the speech that blurs. The degradation which forces the wheelchair and speech therapy and physiotherapy sessions. Not enough to complete Olivier Goy. He decided it. Even shortened, it will make his life larger than life.
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