Starting point: Gibraltar. Destination: Bamako. If you were to walk all the way, what sort of encounters would be in store for you? Would the routes of different human migrations cross? Would the path beaten by thousands of people going in the opposite direction have its meaning revealed? This is the quest undertaken by the director, who brings us along on a journey through the Africa she loves so much. The trip takes several months, and she is not alone: the trail is blazed by a public reader who is walking with his donkey/library, on a pilgrimage to his birthplace. The stories that intertwine on the road all belong to the same history, forcing us to question our concept of the encounter with the Other – each one a matter of chance, each one a small miracle.
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
After studying journalism overseas, Catherine Hébert has never stopped travelling to take the pulse of the real world.
She has directed reports for Au bout du monde and Points Chauds (Télé-Québec). Her first documentary film, Tea at the Embassy, recounts the struggle of an octogenarian activist who was a prisoner of war in a Japanese camp. Mangos for Charlotte (2004) takes place amidst the tragically under-reported civil war in Uganda. In 2005 she completed her first feature documentary, He’s the Man, about a diverse theatre company that portrays the life of Jesus. The Face I Once Had won the 2006 Gémeaux for best news report for its look at acid attacks on women in Bangladesh. She then returned to Uganda to make The Other Side of the Country, nominated for the 2009 Jutra Award for best documentary.
Her latest film, Carnets d'un grand détour (2011), her most personal up to now, is documenting her journey on foot from the Strait of Gibraltar through Mali.
She is also developing a feature documentary, Dis-moi ce que tu manges (Tell Me What You Eat), on the causes of hunger and obesity.