Following in the footsteps of photographer Gabor Szilasi, Catherine Martin travels up the St. Lawrence River into the province of Charlevoix. 35 years ago, Szilasi had photographed the land and the people there, a culture rich in tradition and marked by Catholicism, which even then seemed to be threatened by the arrival of the modern. L'esprit des lieux takes up the photographer’s position anew and tracks down memories in conversations and careful observations.
Black-and-white photographs change into color film footage, living images with a beauty quite their own. But the older pictures testify to a life that today only lives on in memory. With great respect, Martin carefully and sensitively approaches the local people, who unsentimentally speak of the old days. In the process she unearths astounding stories. For example, that of the passionate baker who talks about the risks of opening up a bakery back then, not because of the competition from the supermarkets like today, but "because people like to make their own bread".
Production: Les Productions Virage Inc., Montréal Recherche,
Screenplay: Catherine Martin
Cinematographer: Carlos Ferrand
Editor: Louise Côté
Black and White Photographs (1970): Gabor Szilasi
Format: 35mm (shot on Super16), Color
Running time: 84 minutes