Continuer (Keep Going) by Joachim Lafosse
Joachim Lafosse goes into exile in Kyrgyzstan to recount the reunion of a mother and her son in the midst of an adolescent crisis. With its sublime scenery, this modern western depicts a tense family face-to-face.
The film maker of conflict
Born into a middle class Flemish family, Joachim Lafosse studied film making at the prestigious Institute of Broadcasting Arts in Belgium. His graduation film, Tribu (2001), made a name for itself at the Namur International Festival in 2001 and launched his career.
A master of conflict, the director often draws on real and miscellaneous facts to write his films, from À perdre la Raison (Our Children, 2012) to Chevaliers Blancs (The White Knights, 2015), addressing crises relating to couples and families. For his latest feature film, Continuer (2018), he makes an exception by adapting a novel.
A dramatic western
With Continuer, Joachim Lafosse adapts Laurent Mauvignier's eponymous novel, recounting the complex reunion of a mother and her son who have not spoken to each other for years. Of course, Sybille (Virginie Efira) and Samuel (Kacey Mottet-Klein) are not there for the sightseeing, but to settle their scores. When one puts down their thoughts in their diary, the other shows tenderness only to their horse.
During the whirlwind trip, the duo trek on horseback through the dizzying mountains of Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, and cross paths with locals who influence their journey. Between dangers, discoveries and tensions, Continuer illustrates the complexity of family relationships, a theme dear to the director, in its modern western guise.
A learning film
Continuer marks a radical turning point in the career of Joachim Lafosse. Used to confined spaces and closed doors, the director tries his hand at a new exercise in the arid landscapes of Morocco and Kyrgyzstan, and with only two actors and horses.
Highly involved, lead actress Virginie Efira was also on a learning curve: she learnt Russian and exercised for two months with a stuntman and an equestrian trainer for the film.
Symbol of Belgian cinema
Produced between Belgium and France, the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival. It then represented innovative Belgian auteur cinema in China, the United States, Ireland, Hong Kong and Turkey.
Joachim Lafosse is a leading figure in the future of Belgian cinema, as evidenced by the documentary Au-delà des mots, le cinéma de Joachim Lafosse (Beyond Words, The Cinema of Joachim Lafosse, 2016) by Luc Jabon.
Joachim Lafosse 's film Continuer has been screened internationally by the Institut français.
The Institut français offers a catalogue of over 2,500 titles, enabling the French cultural network and its partners to screen French films around the world.