On the Zenith’s Edge

    Sur le fil du zénith

    • Natyvel Pontalier
    • France, Belgium, Gabon
    • 2021
    • 55 min
    • World Premiere
    • Luminous, Focus: unConscious Bias

    Her given name is that of a Biblical saint; her surname comes from a French forebear. But the family history of filmmaker Natyvel Pontalier reaches much further back than that. In On the Zenith’s Edge she takes a dive into the culture of her Gabonese ancestors, which was forced aside by Christian colonists.

    “Who were we before we were discovered?” This is just one of the questions Pontalier wonders about in her accompanying voiceover, as she recalls memories of her family over calm scenes of Gabonese jungles and villages drifting by. She talks of transcendental experiences in which her ancestors make contact to keep their traditions alive.

    The musical and spiritual traditions of the Fang community feature heavily, proving that nothing has been lost with the passing of the centuries. While the outside culture imposed on them has left its mark, the unique and indestructible core has been preserved.


    • 55 min
    • color
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: French, Fang
    • Subtitles in: English
    Natyvel Pontalier
    Aurélien Bodinaux for Neon Rouge Productions
    Mathilde Raczymow for Les Films du Bilboquet, Pierre-Adrien Ceccaldi for Princesse M Productions
    Hélène Motteau
    Emma Augier

    IDFA history

    World Premiere
    Focus: unConscious Bias

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    IDFA history

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