«Neptune Frost», le coup de cœur du Festival de Cannes 2021

 «Neptune Frost», le coup de cœur du Festival de Cannes 2021

Que reste-t-il à la fin d’un festival ? Les films primés, la Palme d’or, et puis le coup de cœur. « Neptune Frost », réalisé par l’Américain Saul Williams et la Française d’origine rwandaise Anisia Uzeyman, était la proposition la plus curieuse, généreuse et innovatrice de ce Festival de Cannes 2021. C’est l’histoire d’une guerre qui ne dit pas sans nom et d’un amour entre un.e hacker africain.e et un mineur de coltan en fuite. Le tout dans une esthétique afro-futuriste complètement inédite.

Sélectionné hors compétition à la Quinzaine des réalisateurs, ce film musical tourné au Rwanda et imaginé au Burundi réunit chant, danse et poésie. Et il s’avère, à bien des égards, étonnamment proche aux éléments revendiqués par Julia Ducournau pour sa Palme d’or Titane : la violence du monde, le questionnement sur l’identité et le genre, une esthétique intersexe, le droit d’être différent et la quête d’un ailleurs. Mais là où Ducournau fait entrer la monstruosité et le monstre, Neptune Frost mise sur des univers radicalement poétiques et positifs.

Anisia Uzeyman et Saul Williams

Dans ce premier film d’Anisia Uzeyman, actrice (elle a joué dans Tey d’Alain Gomis) et réalisatrice française d’origine rwandaise, et de Saul Williams, poète, acteur, musicien et activiste américain, le récit se raconte au travers de corps éthériques interconnectés par des vibrations avec d’autres êtres et intelligences. Neptune Frost rend palpable des perceptions extra-sensorielles jusqu’ici inconnues au cinéma, au-delà de l’espace-temps de l’homme.

« Je suis née dans ma 23e année, après 22 ans de guerre », raconte au début du film une femme en tresses collées, le visage caché derrière un masque en fils métalliques. Nous voilà invités à un enterrement où le prêtre parle de l’attente d’une autre vie. En attendant, Tekno, mineur de coltan en révolte, doit fuir. Tout au long du film, la mort le guettera, car il a compris : c’est le coltan qui transmet l’énergie circulant dans les ordinateurs du monde entier. Pour lui, une raison de plus de ne plus subir le mépris des multinationales.

« Neptune Frost », de l’Américain Saul Williams et la Française d’origine rwandaise Anisia Uzeyman, présenté en première mondiale à la Quinzaine des réalisateurs, au Festival de Cannes 2021.
« Neptune Frost », de l’Américain Saul Williams et la Française d’origine rwandaise Anisia Uzeyman, présenté en première mondiale à la Quinzaine des réalisateurs, au Festival de Cannes 2021. © Swan Films

« Les charognards ne nous lâcheront rien »

La mine de coltan apparaît sous forme d’une chorégraphie de gestes, rythmée par des tambours burundais. Avec des costumes simples, mais criards et colorés, la scène devient aussi grandiose que la mine autour. C’est là où se crée la richesse des uns et la pauvreté des autres. « Les charognards ne nous lâcheront rien », chante la chanson.

Il est bien question de la souffrance provoquée par une main-d’œuvre exploitée par le néocolonialisme. En même temps, un.e hacker africain.e qui est en train de prendre son indépendance, s’interroge sur la victoire du monde binaire. Dans une ambiance de fin des temps, on observe une éclipse de sens et un feu dans le ciel. Sur la tête du personnage hacker, qui assume son identité intersexuelle, tournent des roues fluorescentes. Comme l’appel d’une planète lointaine, d’une autre dimension.

« Nul retour possible »

Embarqué sur un bateau, on s’éloigne des rives. Tekno, lui, met des talons aiguilles pour entrer dans une autre identité. « Nul retour possible », nous renseigne la chanson. On croise des fantômes ressuscités et les habits de l’afro-futurisme. Les gestes du quotidien se transforment en chanson, en poésie, en chorégraphie. L’oscillement entre plusieurs mondes est d’une beauté stupéfiante.

Un autre personnage principal est un avatar, composé d’écrans, d’ordinateurs et d’autres machines recyclés. La carte mère saigne. Le pouvoir du subconscient grandit, des sagesses apparaissent : « Ce que la naissance a séparé, l’amour la reconnectera. » « Dessine ton rêve et ose le vivre. »

« Neptune Frost », de l’Américain Saul Williams et la Française d’origine rwandaise Anisia Uzeyman, présenté en première mondiale à la Quinzaine des réalisateurs, au Festival de Cannes 2021.
« Neptune Frost », de l’Américain Saul Williams et la Française d’origine rwandaise Anisia Uzeyman, présenté en première mondiale à la Quinzaine des réalisateurs, au Festival de Cannes 2021. © Swan Films

Un pays de rêve né au cinéma

Bienvenu au pays de la clairvoyance, là où « les montagnes ne se sont pas réveillées » et une personne s’appelle « Psychologie ». « Moi, je suis née du son. Le son conserve la mémoire. »

Ici, dans cette communauté à la recherche d’un avenir meilleur (bye-bye « Martyr Loser King »), on s’affranchit des normes pour que les différentes luttes contre l’oppression puissent converger. Pour raconter ces combats contre les Gafam (une chanson est intitulée « Va chier M. Google », une autre « L’algorithme est justice »), la société patriarcale ou les politiques corrompus, toutes les formes narratives sont admises. Un pays de rêve né au cinéma, Neptun Frost.

Source : RFI

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