NFB Film Club returns to Campbell River with a selection from the Winter 2018-19 program.
In her latest film, 24 Davids, Céline Baril takes us across three continents on a quest driven by a single, original idea: giving a voice to the Davids of this world. David, Davide, Dawud, Daouda: derived from the Hebrew dawid, meaning “beloved,” this name—shared by so many different cultures—becomes here the shifting embodiment of the most thoughtful and dynamic aspects of humanity. As in her previous work, Baril uses intuition and imagination to steer her narrative between the infinitely great and the infinitesimally small, probing the mysteries of the universe and of coexistence, taking part in a vital “re-enchantment” of the world.
For the filmmaker, the current century belongs to philosophy and the sciences. Her deeply humanist film is a sprawling poetic and political laboratory in which the power of ideas and collective intelligence thrive. In giving a voice to multiple Davids clear across the social spectrum, Baril creates a playful “ecosystem” of compelling ideas that touches on every sphere of knowledge. Her geographically far-flung Davids come together through a clever montage that unites a range of subjects, from quantum physics to urban planning by way of social innovation, a passion for birds, and the speed of snails.
What is our place in the universe? What do our individual and collective journeys signify? One David—a cosmologist—evokes the mysterious dark matter that “glues” the galaxies together. Another, a philosopher, reflects on the forces underpinning the privatization of planetary and community resources. Through the eyes and actions of each of its namesakes, 24 Davids minutely maps humanity in motion as it points up new networks of solidarity.
This extraordinary adventure takes us from North America (Canada, the United States) to Latin America (Mexico, Colombia), Europe (England, France) and Africa (Ghana, Togo). We meet a DJ/David who makes the b-boys spin in the streets of Bogotá; a Fab Lab trainer/David who views Africa as fertile ground for innovation; a recycler/David who sees garbage as mankind’s salvation; a migrant/David in the jungle, hoping to get to paradise; and a romantic/David living on a houseboat in overpriced London. From these diverse, inspiring encounters emerges a community of ideas focused on sharing and bearing the seeds of transformation.
Written and directed as part of the NFB French Program’s filmmaker-in-residence initiative, 24 Davids is a generous, profoundly joyous work that invites the viewer to join a global conversation where the mysteries of the universe brush up against the many challenges of living together. A thought-provoking journey in a refreshingly freewheeling cinematic format.