MANON SURE LE BITUME (Manon On the Asphalt)
Directed by Elizabeth Marre and Olivier Pont, France, 2007, 15 minutes, 20 seconds.
This short film is about a young French woman who is hit by a car while riding her bike. The film explores her last thoughts as she is about to die. She imagines how all of her friends will react, what they will be doing when they find out and what they will do to morn her death. She images her loved ones using her parceled up belongings and all the things she will never get to do, like have a child, be old or sing a duet with her favorite singer. She remembers the last time she felt rain, the last time she spoke to her mother, and the last time she had sex.
This film is one of my favorites. I believe it is perfectly bittersweet. The short explores death and loss while still leaving the audience feeling amazed about the little things and feeling refreshed.
Manon On the Asphalt was nominated for the Best Short Film Oscar in 2009. I believe the film's narrative is incredibly engaging. The concept is simple, but the film walks a number of lines- It is sentimental and thought provoking without being indulgent or sappy. It straddles happiness and sadness. While we may not all understand the reference to Julien Clerc, these emotions will not be lost on any viewer. This piece shows how the expression of human fears transcend cultures and languages.