Programmed by Caroline Châtelet
At almost thirty years of age, Hélène still looks like a teenager. She is the author of powerful, physical texts marked by a biting, corrosive sense of humour. She accompanies a stage director who is adapting her work, discusses with a mathematician… Yet Hélène can neither speak nor hold a pen and has never learned to read or write. It was when she was twenty that her mother discovered that she could communicate by placing plastic coated letters on a sheet of paper. One of the many mysteries of the woman who calls herself Babouillec…
A word from Tënk
Who’d have imagined that a young woman with autism would watch director Pierre Meunier’s adaptation of her poems on stage at the prestigious Avignon Festival, or would discuss algebra with Laurent Derobert, a mathematician and researcher? But this is exactly what happens to the poetess Babouillec, aka Hélène Nicolas. Incapable of speech, or, according to her mother, not yet having found the key to unlock it, but reading and writing without ever having been taught, Hélène upends our certainties about autism, disability and intellectual capacities. Her raw, badly-dressed presence is in contrast to her words that express her own personal metaphysics with lyricism and a touch of humour.
Deeply moving and extraordinary, and scattered with her writings, the film offers a close-up and poignant portrait in direct cinema of a young woman, from her unique presence in the world to her relationship with her mother.
Journalist and critic