28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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In the Billowing Night
In the Billowing Night
In the Billowing Night

In the Billowing Night

director: Erika Etangsalé
original title: Lèv la tèt dann fènwar
country: France
year: 2021
running time: 51 min.


In this intimate film, the director presents a portrait of her father, Jean-René, who left his native Réunion at the age of 17 to work in France. Jean-René talks about his experiences, his homesickness, and his unclear cultural identity. In doing so, he also engages in a dialogue with her daughter, who is similarly dealing with her mixed ethnicity. The visually suggestive story of a father and daughter becomes a metaphor for ambivalence and post/colonial heritage. 

“I wish I knew where my ancestors hailed from. All I know is that they were dispossessed from their land. But in my dreams, they manage to escape to the upper reaches of the island where a wild nature persists.” — Erika Etangsalé


French director Erika Etangsalé (* 1983) lives and works in Réunion, where her father is from. In her films, she explores the boundaries between documentary and fiction, heritage and memory. In the Billowing Night won the Doc Alliance Prize for Best Short Film.

more about film

director: Erika Etangsalé
producer: Jonathan Rubin
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas