"The Ferryman” is a cinematic and choreographic exploration of animistic rituals roots, dance and sculpture, and their relevance nowadays. Through the journey of a half-deer, half- hunter character (Damien Jalet ), the film is a metaphoric, poetic and visceral six-step ascent of a mountain, considered here a place of birth and death. Filmed in the stunning landscape of volcanic islands such as Bali, Japan and Scotland, as well as in Louvre museum, the ancestral and complex relationship of men and nature, often seen as a gateway between visible and invisible worlds, is portrayed here through a series of striking ceremonies (trance,
cremations and sacrifices rituals in Bali, mountain worship in Japan), contemporary dance performances excerpts and words , narrated by performance artist Marina Abramovic. Oneiric and raw, blurring the line between archaic and contemporary, between documentary and fiction, this 70-minutes film, sometimes hauntingly scored by composer Ryuchi Sakamoto, is a fascinating , reflective and singular travel through the borders of the worlds.
The film has been shown in many international festivals and venues including Coda Oslo , Cinedans Amsterdam, De Singel Antwerp, Israel festival, KCUA Kyoto, Benaki Museum Athens, Musee de la chasse Paris , Cine-Corps Paris , Nuit Blanche Paris, Musee de Chamberry
A 56 min version was presented on a loop during Venice Biennale , part of Axel Vervoordt curated exhibition “intuition” at Palazzo Fortuny in 2017
Download the film here
A film by Gilles Delmas
Choreographed, written and performed by Damien Jalet
With the participation of: Marina Abramovic, Ryuichi Sakamoto
With: Hoshino Fumihiro, Aimilios Arapoglou, Jun Morii, Mirai Moriyama, Aakash Odedra, Clara Furey, the ensemble of Sebatu | Editing: Marc Boyer
Co-production by Lardux films, TVM cineplume, staatstheater Darmstadt
With the support of CNC, region Rhones alpes
“A highlight of Venice Biennale...As part of the stunning exhibition “ ntuition" – the film underlines a beautiful link running between prehistorical creativity all the way into contemporary choreography, via shamanic trance, traditional rituals, and communion with nature.
"In between 2013 and 2016, Gilles Delmas' camera followed the dancer in these landscapes from the beginning of the world. It is rough and wild, calcined soil of large volcanoes, mossy trees whose trunks are entangled in the manner of bodies, landscapes of rock that threatening the waters. Jalet, as world smuggler and shaman, summons the spells that bind man to the forces of nature. challenged, the invisible manifests itself. It bends the bodies and animates them, pushes them to trance or absolute grace. Jalet experienced it, and remembers it when he choreographs. And the images of his work t are superimposed on those of the Balinese dancers or Japanese monks .Smuggler of the worlds, he captivates the camera of Gilles Delmas who seizes the invisible in the movement of the skies, the energy of the steps, or the elan of the big trees.”
"The climax of this exhibition with the appearance of an initiatory rise is undoubtedly The Ferryman, the film that Gilles Delmas shot with the choreographer and dancer Damien Jalet as a stag-man on the ascent of an ordalic mountain, a contemporary sister of the analogous Mount of René Daumal.”