Sophie Goyette's Still Light, Still Night (Mes nuits feront écho, 2016) is exclusively showing July 25 – August 24, 2018 on MUBI in most countries in the world as part of the series Canada's Next Generation.
I wrote the script three years ago, it was a bit of a message of hope I was sending myself. I wanted to experience something in cinema which wasn’t a psychological story or a classical narrative where we can guess the ending. I needed to return to strong emotions, magic, mystery. I was also very attracted to the fact that something uniting us all is that we dream at night. No matter our age, nationality, status in life... It’s something I find quite fascinating. As another highway lane that exists in parallel to our daily lives. And which we all take, at night. Also the idea that anyone, no matter in which real or intangible prison he or she lives, not only dreams but can be the master of those dreams. I find it quite unique, this imaginative power in all of us. Perhaps it’s in this sense that the concept of hope often returned at each writing step.
The shooting was independent and very short: it took place during seventeen days, after I had scouted locations that I had written about in the script but had yet never seen before, in Mexico and Asia. It was a lot about how my inner world connected with the locations, as if they were characters in the film. It was important that each place may not seem exotic or if it were, to be such in a different way. To the point where one wonders if it is really happening or whether it’s a dream. The biggest thing was mostly to feel the potential connection between us all, beyond any borders. And the notion that we seem to open up more easily when we travel, as if time was suspended for a while. Conversations had by Eliane in Mexico or those had by the father Pablo and son Romes in Asia could have happened in their own country. But it was necessary for them to go to the end of the world to deliver truths to each other and to themselves.
I found some very sensitive people to support me and to help me abolish the language barrier, throughout all my scouting and film shooting. One of them was Rocío Sagón, a well-known (and loved) Mexican choreographer and dancer. While I was sound editing her voice in my film, in that very first scene, I learned in the sound room that she had just passed away that day, at 82 years old. It was her voice, when I first met her, that drew me in: you just felt a beautiful and profound soul. I then edited the phone scene where she speaks at “her son” Romes through the night, to later send it to her family that was generously sending news to me at the time of the funeral. As if I could tell them that she wasn’t only speaking to the character of her son Romes during that scene, but also maybe communicating directly to them. Every film definitely has its own special, particular and magic travelling road, which we can never truly guess. As if you were the captain on a boat, with your team as crew, in search of a new continent.