God Is In The Roots

God Is In The Roots


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

The film opens with a quote from Artaud - "If there is still something diabolical, and altogether damnable in our times, it is to linger artistically over forms, instead of being like those burnt at the stake, who gesture from their pyres." We're not given a context, but Artaud's entreaty was to avoid falling back on classical technique, at least in that overly-hyphenated construct "contemporary theatre dance".

Not so avoidant this work by Peter Snowdon. Good work, some intriguing framing, even more so on the subject: Aurélie Naumur, or rather a play she is rehearsing, all ropes and elevation, backstage and stage spaces, lighting and questions, that play about something that happened, somewhere in the forest. "The forest is their home," but here is a different home, a theatrespace, black painted boards the soil underfoot, trees of scaffold, leaves invisible. Olivier Touche's sound, with Bryan Ferneyhough supplying the music, sees Naumur's narration methodical, looping, deliberate, scattered.

Copy picture

"I had no proof of what I had lived through", a tendency to "[improve] on reality" - over it all an insistent woodwind, that frantic jazz flute that's shorthand for a happening, even stereotype. Underneath there are tensions, undemonstrated, inferred - forms to fill, "a lot of boxes to tick", but back there the "sky is green and god is underneath you in the roots". Something happened in the forest - something is happening here - is this genuinely a rehearsal, a preparatory re-telling?

Ropes coil, hands move, smiles become sinister even if they never were. Is this the event or a story about the event? There are lines, but they are blurry, hypnotically so. An alarm rings slowly in the background, or a bell clamours langourously - it is a dream-like panic.

Reviewed on: 29 Jun 2012
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God Is In The Roots packshot
An actress recounts a strange journey through the Amazon.

Director: Peter Snowdon

Starring: Aurélie Naumur

Year: 2012

Runtime: 15 minutes

Country: Belgium


EIFF 2012

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