a moving initiatory journey to relearn how to love yourself

a moving initiatory journey to relearn how to love yourself

Marine Barnérias goes on an adventure for nine months.


” Eat Pray Love “this triptych had been beneficial for Liz Gilbert, protagonist of the autobiographical feature film adapted from her novel Eat Pray Love : a young divorcee in search of meaning who, on a whim, decides to go to Italy, India and then Bali to relearn how to live.

This curative treatment seems to have been just as beneficial for Marine Barnérias, a 21-year-old student recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). With the difference that she chooses to walk in New Zealand, to meditate in Burma, then to love herself in Mongolia. A moving initiatory journey, which she decides to engrave in stone with her documentary Pink – the name she gave to her disease, as if to tame it – entirely filmed with her iPhone and presented in cinemas on January 5th.

It was in 2015 that the diagnosis fell. During a sporting event, Marine suddenly loses her sight. A few hours later, at the hospital, a neurologist tells him, coldly, that he has multiple sclerosis. “When she arrived in the room, I saw her as a messiah, yet she was so insensitive”testifies, facing the camera, the young woman. That day, Marine, whose joie de vivre and vitality are unmistakable throughout the documentary, is no more than a shadow of herself.

Assumed amateurism

The spectators are led to follow her medical journey, between the scanners, the long waits and the doubts of the young girl and her family.. There is a mother’s fear – “I didn’t understand what was going on” – or the remorse of a father on the verge of tears: “I thought I was responsible for your illness. » Heartbreaking testimonies accompanied by a melancholy soundtrack composed by Matthieu Chedid, at the height of the drama.

The amateurishness of Pink, fully assumed, gives it a certain authenticity and a simplicity that moves. “Go ahead, ask your questions”, we hear. The sequences are linked without much transition, however, we do not lose the thread. “I don’t know why I’m doing this, but I feel it, that’s all”declares Marine, while the camera is turned towards her sister.

The documentary follows a clear structure: the five stages of grief. After denial (“It can’t possibly happen to me”) comes misunderstanding. Marine discovers this autoimmune disease which affects the nervous system, which can lead to the sudden paralysis of one or more limbs.

“MS, MS, MS”this word obsesses him. For fear of getting lost, she decides to build a trip over nine months without treatment. New Zealand to rediscover your body, Burma to soothe your mind, Mongolia to reconnect with your soul. If, at first glance, the film takes on the air of personal development, it manages to skilfully avoid sentimentality. The spectator becomes, in spite of himself, the traveling companion of Marine – and of Rosy… –, simply sharing his doubts, his joys and his fears.

It is in New Zealand that anger, the third stage of grief, is expressed the most. After hours of hiking through rural and mountainous landscapes, and long moments of loneliness hitchhiking, a throbbing physical pain ends up weakening Marine. But this pain is wanted, even hoped for: “I became paranoid, I needed to feel my body for fear that it would escape me. I sometimes talked to my toe, my thumb or my elbow. » The young woman does not forget her humor… The first stage of her journey ends with a cry from the heart: “Fuck MS! »

In Burma, she confronts her own silence by isolating herself in a monastery for two weeks. She will spend her days meditating to get to know herself better, to refocus on herself and, above all, to live with her loneliness. Finally in Mongolia, after taking part in a transhumance, she spends the end of her trip with the Tsaatan, a Turkish people of reindeer herders in the north of the country. Finally, acceptance comes. She decides not to “fuck MS”but to live with.

Then appears the character of Rosy, whom she almost ends up loving. Back in France, she admits: “This was all for you, Rosy. »

Pinkdocumentary by Marine Barnérias. Music: Matthieu Chedid (Fr., 2021, 90 min). Canal+ Cinema.

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