30th FID Marseille | 2019
"I really don’t think of the visuals while filming, I’m thinking of how to “survive” the situation I fell upon or how life is weird and wonderful. this is why the heads are always cut or we only see the shoes."
HOW GLORIOUS IT IS TO BE HUMAN | Dir. Mili Pecherer | Comepétition FRANÇAISE
Première Mondiale / World Premiere
Wrapped up warm in gorgeous medieval-like capes, two young women are walking. Setting off on their pilgrimage for a very humble destination, they travel along narrow country roads and converse while listening to each other. The first one, Mili Pecherer, the director, carries on her back both grotesque and enigmatic burden: a huge haemorrhoid-shaped bundle. As far as the second one is concerned, she is expecting a child.
Hi Mili many thanks for talking to TNC, how are you doing?
Hello, I’m ok, I’m packing my diving mask for Marseille and it feels good.
Are you looking forward to bringing Slits to FID 2019?
Yes, very much.
This will be your World Premiere & How Glorious it is to be a Human is part of the French Competition, does this add any extra pressure on you?
Well, when you put it in this way it does add extra pressure…But I must say that the team of the FID has been so warm and generous with me, that it feels like going to a familiar place.
Do you still get nerves ahead of your screening?
Yes, very much.
How would you describe your visual style?
I don’t know. I would say that my visual style is the hazard and life itself. In my films so far, the camera was only a tool or an excuse to launch an adventure.
I really don’t think of the visuals while filming, I’m thinking of how to “survive” the situation I fell upon or how life is weird and wonderful. this is why the heads are always cut or we only see the shoes.
In How glorious it is to be a human being we attached the cameras either to our shoulders either to Bambou the donkey’s head. We didn't want to think about it. We only thought about it when it beeped that it has an error or out of battery. Nowadays I’m working on an animation film, and this time I had to confront serious visual questions…but that’s for another day.
"I often don’t even have the courage to say out loud that I’m a filmmaker."
Can you tell me a little bit about How Glorious it is to be a Human what can we expect?
You can expect no drama. It is a pilgrimage of two women, each one is carrying her “burden”. Mine is in the shape of a huge inflatable haemorrhoid, and Genevieve is carrying an unborn baby.
(By the way, now the baby is already born and he’s adorable and my haemorrhoid was ruined during the pilgrimage and is completely deflated).
These young women are out there to find something without knowing what they are searching for. They meet people on the way, and also a donkey. There is no moral, no tragedy, no conclusion.
Just life, with beautiful nature and medieval music.
What was the inspiration behind this film?
The main inspiration was that I wanted to share a feeling I had each time I spoke with Genevieve on the phone, something that I loved so much but couldn’t express, and we thought that a pilgrimage could be the right event for that.
I was also very influenced by a little text of Kierkegaard called “The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air: Three Godly Discourses”. It’s a text that is addressed to the “worried” ones and it encourages them to go out to the fields to find comfort and real destruction, one that society and daily life can’t really give us. I also had in mind the poem of Rilke:
“The creature gazes into openness with all its eyes.
But our eyes are as if they were reversed, and surround it,
everywhere, like barriers against its free passage.
We know what is outside us from the animal’s
What was the most challenging part of bringing this film to life?
Letting go. Experiencing the pilgrimage without thinking of the film, allowing the film to fail gloriously and letting it become what it wants to be.
Has your style and approach to your film changed much since your debut film?
Yes and no. I did my first film in high school, I didn’t know anything about anything.
As I thought Will Smith was very sexy, I decided to make a documentary about aliens in my home town. After collecting many video testimonies about encounters of the third kind, I didn’t know how to put it all together into a film. My teacher back then suggested me to add myself to the story. and I’ve been doing that ever since. Even in an animation film. I’m always telling the story from my subjective perspective.
But my existential questions has changed a lot, as well as the technology and the budgets.
Do you have any advice for any emerging filmmaker?
mmm… I’m an emerging filmmaker myself. I often don’t even have the courage to say out loud that I’m a filmmaker.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?