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Penelope, My Love

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For 18 years, I have been filming Pénélope, a young adult with autism. One day I opened the cupboard that contained DV tapes and Super 8 reels. My eyes almost popped out. These images had to be brought together. Penelope, My Love traces the journey of a mother and her daughter through the years. It tells of different stages: the shock of the diagnosis, the declaration of war, the abdication of arms, to finally accept and discover a different mode of existence.

This body of Pénélope, and a fortiori this body of the autistic person in social space, what place does it occupy and what place do we give it? What land can cinema invent to design a hospitable space, dream of a world allowing the invisible to become visible? Pénélope keeps cheering for what she is, I keep questioning who she is. The answer to the question is precisely in this endless quest. Everything is mirrored to me. So, isn’t it Pénélope who in turn tells me who I am?’