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Interview with Émilie Pigeard, co-director of Babičino Seksualno Življenje [Granny’s Sexual Life]
Saturday 5 February 2022, by ,
Four old women reflect on their memories when they were young and how different the relationships between men and women were back then. Their voices merge into one single voice, that of the grandmother Vera, who tells her story in proper detail. A trip into grandmother’s youth and the memories of her intimate life illustrate the status of Slovenian women in the first half of the 20th century.
How did the idea of asking old women to speak about their sex life come to you and Urška? How did you manage to handle this sensitive topic with them?
The idea for the film comes from a Slovenian book entitled Fire, Ass and Snakes Are Not Toys which transcribes the testimonies of women about their sexuality since the middle of the 20th century. Urška used certain passages from these women and put them together to tell a story: that of little Vera who represents the voices of all these women.
Has Vera seen your film and if so, how did she react to it?
Vera is a fictional character that we completely invented. She represents a perpetual cycle that evokes these women’s memories. At the very beginning of the film, Vera is a witness to the sexual abuse suffered by her mother and at the end of the film, she herself becomes a victim.
Was there a particular event or time that made you realize that animation was indeed your own way to tell stories?
I started doing animation during my studies at the Arts Décoratifs of Paris. At the very beginning, I wanted to become an illustrator but when I discovered that I could set my drawings in motion and bring them to life with sound and music, I discovered a new passion! I find the medium of animation to be very powerful in evoking memories. I am not a great technician, but I try to animate through my emotions and feelings.
What would you like the audience to get from your short essentially?
I would like these women’s testimony to be heard as much as possible through the film we made. Some women’s stories and situations are still not heard enough, and I think it is important to continue to give a voice to this issue.
Is there a particular short film that has made a strong impression on you?
I recently discovered The Demons of Dorothy by Alexis Langlois on Arte. I particularly liked how it was all shot in gloss and glitter.
What’s your definition of a good film?
For me, a good film is above all a film that moves me through its subject and the way it is addressed. I also think that a film is good when I believe in the actors’ play and the director’s direction. I have also added the “bô film” label at the end of the credits, when it meets all these criteria!