by Floriane Closuit and Sabrina Faetanini
A film to grow beyond
«Little flame» is the story of Floriane’s rebirth. Suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the Swiss film maker proves that handicap and disease can sometimes awaken the best part of us. A positive story about freedom, arts and the space we are supposed to fill.
Irreversible, really ?
In 2003, I start to feel various symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory disease known to generate neurological injuries. Denying the verdict and powerless, I watch it evolving until it reaches, in 2009, an «irreversible» form. Soon, my daily concerns only deal with crutches, body therapies, rare outings and the arrival of a wheel chair. I am stuck at home, my life and most of my relationships are overturned. Everything has changed, everything has become complicated and every passing day, I feel more and more lost. And as usual, I react by doing exactly what I am told to. I then become a «good patient», thinking that my behavior might help MS disappear.
My friendly camera
But it doesn’t. My general condition worsens, my whole body tightens, and I rely more and more on others. At home, I have the impression I am taking too much space, that I am bothering my relatives running busy lives. But I want to understand.
So I grab my camera. At the beginning, I use it as a diary. Then, I realize I want to make this film. «She» becomes my best friend and helps me find the right distance between me and this upheaval. A distance that allows me to stay above water, that same distance that a film director needs facing his or her topic.
Awaken by Art Therapy
Since 2010, I am not just filming the evolution of MS. I film everything the illness is bringing me, everything it triggers in me. I also film my incredible encounter with Art Therapy According to Psychomatics. In Leila’s workshop, I make collages, I paint. I can even name all my fears, I can stare at them and thus, accept them.
Progressively, Art Therapy awakens my senses. I make, I express, I connect with matters and stuff, with the other (Leila) and with myself. I exist above the disease, without it. Thanks to this therapeutic approach, I am starting to hear what MS might be whispering to my ears : seek freedom and be yourself. In 2013, after my first collages exhibit, I start an Art Therapist program. Three years after, while defending my thesis entitled «From the undesirable host… to the revelation of oneself», I discover another Floriane. Who is this woman?
A new life
She is a woman I know. A woman who every summer leads a simple and free life on the island of Paros, in Greece. There, my body unwinds and MS fades a bit. My feet are moving, my nights are peaceful and therapists bathe me in the Mediterranean sea. To top it all, I barely feel the pain. Is it just the «holidays» effect ? The only way to know is to move there for some time.
A film maker duty
I also film all the encounters that MS has provoked, all its blessings and absurdities. MS has cast a light on many aspects of my life that otherwise would have probably remained in the dark. MS is about space and freedom, topics that I have questioned in my previous movies. So here we are, it’s all about freedom, again. But this time, the it is no longer a fictional freedom, it is real and personal. It is my biggest challenge and at the same time, an universal quest.
This life experience has a meaning, and sharing it with others has become an obvious fact, a film maker duty.
This is why I need your support
In 2012, I received a subsidy from PourCent Culturel Migros encouraging me to continue my film, which I did. I would like to thank them, since today we are almost there !
Today, we only need funds to finance last filming sessions, the video and sound editing, the calibration, the English translation and subtiles. By helping us, you will help this film traveling to places where others are also struggling. Thank you so much.
Alone at first, I was lucky to be joined by a team of professionals intrigued by my project. Without them, I could have never gone so far. Who are they ?
Sabrina Faetanini, journalist & co-producer : « Long time enthusiast about personal development, health and arts, I could have not imagined a better project to work on, while helping a friend. «
Cédric Russo, Director of photography 1 : « Making a film about oneself while coping with handicap is a very bold initiative that I believe requires empathy and proximity. I thank Floriane for asking me to be her eyes.»
Dejan Savic, Head film editor : « I felt very touched by Floriane’s struggle and by the universal question she raises : what is it that makes life worth being lived
Masaki Hatsui, Sound engineer : « Collaborating to this project allows me to participante in a life that we rarely hear of. It also gives me a precious opportunity to share it with the public.»
Gabriel Lobos, Directeur photographie 2 : « Floriane’s project is bold and fascinating. I am very impressed by her honesty and her energy.»
John Balikos, music composer : « I met Floriane in Paros and immediately thought that two artists living in a wheel chair could only work together. «