A peaceful life on a family farm. A cold, clear winter day. Nine-year-old Noémy is about to leave the carefree world of childhood behind.
A Shade of Grey (Far away from Fifty Shades of Grey), brings us to the peaceful but very true lifestyle on a family farm. Created by French Canadian filmmaker Hervé Demers ‘Les adieux de la Grise” was selected in over 75 film festivals worldwide, probably due to its light hearted style combined with a child’s first terrifying experience in losing something she loves.
Initially, my intention was to materialize on screen this precise moment when a child experiences the concept of mortality and loss for the first time. This realization, as thin a subject as it may seem, appeared to me as a fascinating point of entrance into adult conscience: the origin of maturity. Furthermore, as I grew up in a rural area, I knew that a natural environment would be perfect to tell a story that relied a great deal on sensitivity, a story that is more internal, existential. Farms are these rare places where the wild is never too far off, it’s a raw setting where kids are allowed to witness both the beauty and the violence of nature in its most immediate forms.
‘Les adieux de la Grise’ is a breezy cinematic experience that uses its simple and spacious surroundings to create a memorable sense of space and time. Despite the harsh weather conditions, Hervé also had to deal with filming with children and animals, two things that any filmmaker will tell you to avoid at all costs.
At first, I must admit that I dove into this adventure with just the right mix of naiveté and enthusiasm. Later on, I’ve learned the hard way how much of a challenge working with kids and animals could be… combined with the incredibly harsh conditions of winter in this country. Some things we thought simple at first started to delay our schedule and the shoot became a little longer than expected. This was due, mainly, to the unwillingness of our animal friends to execute the series of actions I had planned for them.