Director: Julie Bertuccelli
Distributor: Icarus Films
Length: 85 min
Release: East Coast Premiere
Select Awards: César Awards: Nomination for Best Documentary Film; Lumière Awards: Nomination for Best Documentary Film
As she approaches her thirtieth birthday, Hélène possesses the look and spirit of a teenager. Although she is apparently unable to speak, read, or write due to autism, she is the author of powerful texts composed by assembling plastic letters alongside each other. Can a person who cannot speak or write in a neurotypical way produce beautiful literature? Director Julie Bertuccelli captures Hélène’s incredible story in this intimate portrait of a true visionary.
FOCUS ON: Julie Bertuccelli
Bertuccelli has directed a handful of features and documentaries and in Cosmos she skillfully cuts between scenes of Helene “writing,” which can recall the automatic writing sessions of the Surrealists, and a series of performances where her texts are adapted into theater pieces that she often takes part in. Filming in close-up or even extreme close-up, as if trying to better penetrate the mystery residing behind Helene’s bewildering facial expressions, Bertuccelli (who operated camera and sound herself) underlines the enormous chasm separating her subject’s outward appearance from the insightful artistic mind that is reflected in her writing, leaving us to contemplate the difference between words, deeds and images.
- – Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter