La rivière

Year2023 Duration104 min. Projection formatDCP ColourColour LanguageFrench DirectorDominique Marchais PhotographyMartin Roux SoundMikaël Kandelmann Production Zadig Films - Mélanie Gerin & Paul Rozenberg FestivalsFestival de La Rochelle 2023, FIFIB 2023, Before the Night 2024

Spanish premiere


Powerful rivers flow between the Pyrenees and the Atlantic, known as gaves. Human activity is altering the water cycle and its biodiversity. Men and women look curiously and lovingly at this fascinating world of beauty and disaster.


In this film, there are people who walk on water, because the river levels have dropped so low. As well as walking, they talk, and it is beautiful when the rivers gatecrash the soundtrack, with their parallel chattering. Rather than disagreement, this dissonance can be understood as whatever might be missing that stops us from living together better. Everything dreadful that is happening in the rivers comes down to human causes, although the people talking here actually love, study and take care of the rivers. 

The film shows the many connected processes that make up the life of a river. All these connections require a feature-length film to show so many sequences —glaciers, aquifers, dams, salmon, trout, biologists, butterflies, corn, decomposing plastic. The water gushes out or flows in gentle waves, but the most complex dynamic is the one we cannot see: a river always comes from or goes further afield. There is a recurring movement in the film, perhaps parallel to the actual water cycle: panoramas working with or against gravity, that begin in the river and finish in the sky (or vice versa). As opposed to the rivers, they represent an audience.

Manuel Asín

Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes Audiovisuales Acción Cultural Española Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU

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