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Vandeweerd: Filming the Invisible

MUBI Special

Following MUBI’s spotlighting of the influential documentary films by Jean Rouch comes a new series devoted to an equally bold but otherwise radically different ethnographer working today: Pierre-Yves Vanderweerd. The films of this Belgian filmmaker are notable first in who they document, as they seek to express something essential in the existences of peoples and places rarely visited by film and television. Shooting mostly in gorgeous painterly Super 8 and 16mm film, Vanderweerd evokes rarely seen aspects of Mauritania, the dividing line between the Moroccan army and the Liberation Front of Western Sahara, the least populated region in France, and the Armenian-Azersis conflict in the Caucasus. Just as important as these often unheralded regions of human survival is that Vanderweerd approaches documentary filmmaking not as a tool to deliver facts to the audience, but as a poetic instrument with which to call forth the sensations—tactile, bodily, earthy, existential—that both surround and come from within his subjects. His are thus documentaries that you truly feel, where empathy, spirituality, and understanding comes from a shared communication of experience. MUBI is proud to include in its retrospective the online premiere of the director’s latest feature, The Eternals.

For the Lost

Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd France, 2014

Filmed in the region of Lozère, France, For the Lost is a singularly mythic and sensorial document following a lone sheepherder through a metaphysical underworld that is otherwise home. A cryptic, trancelike expression made in the name of those the natural and unnatural world both left behind.

The Eternals

Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd Belgium, 2017

As part of our retrospective of the films of poetic documentarian Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd we’re proud to present the online premiere of his latest feature, The Eternals. A truly devotional experience, it beautifully, movingly captures the condition of those stranded in a conflict forgotten by most.

Faraway Roots

Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd Belgium, 2002

With Faraway Roots Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd and his camera venture to Mauritania to immerse us in the stories, spirituality, and rituals of the land and its people. A dreamlike wandering of a country rarely seen by cinema—this is a wisely impressionistic portrait of place and its forgotten dwellers.

Lost Land

Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd France, 2011

MUBI is proud to introduce an exciting and unique voice in new documentary cinema, Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd. This Belgian filmmaker departs from staid convention and boldly embraces the poetic and sensorial possibilities of evoking the lives of lost peoples, their outer landscapes and inner beings.

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