Dernières nouvelles du Cosmos / Latest News from the Cosmos

Hélène Nicolas is a severely autistic thirty-year-old woman who cannot
communicate verbally or hold a pen, let alone use a laptop. Yet she is also
an extraordinarily gifted writer under the pseudonym Babouillec, composing
startlingly original, lucid poetic texts with a set of cardboard letters provided
by her mother. This compelling documentary is an intimate portrait of Hélène
in everyday life and in rehearsals for a play based on her writings and directed
by major French theater director Pierre Meunier. It is also a portrait of her
mother, a woman who chose to give up her career as an equestrian to teach
her daughter to communicate and discovered when Hélène was twenty that
she could write perfectly grammatical, deeply poetic sentences despite the
fact that she had never been to school or read a book. Asked by a journalist
how she learned to write, Hélène answers: “By playing with each of the secret
places in my pickle of a brain.” While this heartening personal story is a deeply
enlightening study of autism, it is above all an endlessly fascinating meditation
on a mystery of cosmic proportions. Following School of Babel (Tournées Film
Festival 2016/2017), Latest News from the Cosmos confirms Julie Bertucelli’s
place as one of the great humanist documentary filmmakers of the moment,
a director committed to making ethical decisions while allowing the viewer
remarkably revealing access to her subjects.

Julie Bertuccelli

Julie Bertuccelli

Hélène Nicolas

105 min.
France, 2016
Blu-Ray, DCP, DVD

Icarus Films

$200 discounted Tournées Film
Festival rate for one screening