A love story between two sisters
Interview with Writer/Director Elisabeth Desbiens
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I started to write Lola & Claire four years ago and it was finished in December 2017. I was a dancer and I made a lot of dance short movies; at this time, I wanted to talk about a body that couldn’t move. She would live in a world without indications of time and her interior world would be collapsing. That was the first idea. Then, I developed the story.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
I didn’t know what would become of Lola & Claire when I wrote a first draft. On version 2, I knew Lola & Claire had become a story about love between two sisters. It talks about assisted suicide, but this subject is only the background of the story.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
My movie is about a body that can’t move. So instead of filming her actions, it's the action of everything around her that had to be captured. More than never, the decorations needed to speak: the other characters around her had to do that as well.
After two short movies, my work is really motivated by something that the writer Hannah Harendt mentioned in one of her books. She was talking about prisoners kept in prisons who can only be free in their imagination. In my movie Lola & Claire, if my protagonist was jailed by her body, I needed to create her interior world. But based on what? Because you can’t imagine something you've never seen. And Claire has always been paralyzed. So she must have seen what she imagined somewhere.
A child will draw for you to tell you he loves you. This was the principal source of inspiration for the imagination of Claire, to build her interior world, the only place where she would be free from her body. The drawings of the little sister were important to make the two characters communicate and more than that, it was a proof of love.
The character Lola came later. She is the alter-ego of Claire. While Claire is completely still, Lola is always in movement. Now, the final message is a message of love, because it’s the genuine act of a 12 year old little girl to understand that her older sister is waiting to die and to kill (liberate her) for love.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Every person who listen to the movie is touched, they find it dramatic and full of light.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
It’s such a difficulty that the movie respects fully the people who knew someone with the same disease as Claire’s. As a director, if I don’t do my job correctly it can appear big and bold there. That is a challenge. And I feel relieved if those people who really did go through this are touched by my film.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I’m presently in Cannes for the film festival to promote my work, meet new people from the industry. This is a way to have more visibility.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Have a good run in the festival circuit, this short movie would be the last before a full-length movie (feature).
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What if it was an adult and not a child who helped Claire to die? Would it seem right?
Would you like to add anything else?
Thanks! I’m working on a VR project named À Néant (Towards Nothingness) 3 min 360˚ Dance VR Movie. I’m looking for a company interested in branded content.
I’m also working on my feature movie Born to Shine.
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTIAQ+, scifi, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Lola & Claire
A love story between two sisters
Length: 12 minutes
Director: Elisabeth Desbiens
Producer: Patricia Bergeron, Leitmotiv
Writer: Elisabeth Desbiens
About the writer, director and producer:
Élisabeth Desbiens is a Montreal based Director. She studied dance and cinema. Her movies have screened in many festivals around the world including SAPPORO in Japan, MashROME in Italy, Cannes’ Short Film Carket, Clermont-Ferrand and in South Korea.
She received the prestigious prize SODEC/ SARTEC for her screenplay Était une bête, adapted from a poem anthology by the author Laurance Ouellet Tremblay.
She is presently preparing her next movie with Leitmotiv productions.
Key cast: Léa Girard Nadeau, Rébecca Miville-Deschênes, Sandra Dumaresq
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Social media handles: