Documentary / 22 min
At dawn, a cannon shatters the silence. The horses gallop across the beaten ground. Eva, 21, wants to join the Imperial HorseGuards, a historical reenactment of a Napoleonic regiment reserved for men. In search of romance, she conceals her identity so that she can set her foot in the stirrup //(climb into the saddle), defying a 200-year-old ban. In this world of powder and smoke, Eva finally finds herself as she had always dreamed: ‘a handsome soldier beside a beautiful princess.
There are films that take a long time to be found, others that are born of an obviousness. One cannot say which is preferable. One cannot tell by looking at a film if its trajectory was eventful or peaceful. What counts is its impact on the present and the trace it leaves.
Imperial has known versions of the script very different from the finished film. But these variants have nourished Coline's reflection, and this documentary carries within it all the others that were not made. Like layers. As if it had taken all these detours to finally manage to tell us a simple story, one of those that always thrill us, a story of desire and love.
We can notice the great maturity in the management of the duration of the shots, the beauty of the frames and the attention given to the light. The almost feverish look at her character, while at the same time a great determination in the way she accompanies her. Eva's trajectory is simple and fluid in its accomplishment, and this simplicity (so difficult to achieve) is movingly beautiful. As can be the look of Eva on a young girl who is enough to put "a little glitter in her life".
Laurent Larivière / Director