One of the functions of documentary filmmaking is to allow an audience the opportunity to peek into someone else’s life. To afford the viewer an insight into a world they have little or no knowledge of or which is completely alien to them. Claire Simon has spent her career shining the light on the lives of others; often marginalised or underrepresented voices. Whilst she sometimes skirts the boundaries of factual film-making, it’s never less than enlightening.
Employing her familiar cinéma verité style, the French filmmaker heads to the small village of Lussas in the Ardèche region of southern France. In many ways the sleepy rural idyll is what you’d expect, but it’s set to be the headquarters of Tënk; an online streaming platform for documentary films. Based in what used to be the local grocery, the cultural initiative is finding it hard to get off the ground. This is the subject for The Grocer’s Son, the Mayor, the Village and the World…
The Grocer’s Son, the Mayor, the Village and the World…takes us inside the process of establishing a new start-up and how it’s viewed within the milieu of the community. Simon compares and contrasts this with a local independent vinery. This affords us a different perspective on the role an independent business plays within the wider community. The Grocer’s Son, the Mayor, the Village and the World…is an interesting glimpse inside the biodiversity or country life and the value of entrepreneurship.
The Grocer’s Son, the Mayor, the Village and the World…screens at IDFA.