When a Germanwings plane crashed nearby in 2015, a remote town in the French Alps suddenly became world news. Filmmaker Stephen Loye, who lives in the area, sheds poetic and philosophical light on the event—taking a radically different approach from that of the media.
For this cinematic essay, Loye collaborated with Patrick Romieu, a sound anthropologist who went in search of small, personal stories from the region. In the audio, anonymous voices talk about the media frenzy in their town, about the dozens of death certificates that had to be signed, and about other disasters in recent history in which many people died. Meanwhile, Loye makes free associations in the voiceover, musing about mortality and the value of a human life.
News footage is sometimes seen in passing, but The Belly of the Mountain is dominated visually by a seemingly meaningless, indifferent void. Deserted mountains, a purring cat: the viewer can associate as freely as Loye does himself.