When animator Benoît Labaye's father passed away from multiple sclerosis at the age of 55, he had spent nearly two decades confined to a wheelchair. In this touching tribute, the younger Labaye gives his father one last taste of freedom—both in form and in spirit.
This is what Benoît Labaye is speaking in French during the overdub:
I think it's by the movement you appropriate your own life. By the freedom to come and go, to have gestures of love, tenderness, anger, whatever. When you are deprived of movements, as I am and as a lot of other people are, I think if you want to survive, you must reinvent the movement differently. And so what happens inside my head isn't purely brain, purely intellectual. It's a way of recreating an inner space which is also my freedom.
When you live a severe handicap, when you live absolutely still, dependent, you live, in fact, something that can't be shared, that can't be easily expressed, which you can't easily talk about. Because when two people talk, to be able to understand each other, they need to have a minimum of common experience between them, to speak of something they both know from some form of experience.
Sure, the stillness, the handicap, brings you to the conclusion and to the gradual acceptance that there's a certain number of things that you can't do. But conversely I think it opens a whole bunch of new possibilities, notably with inner freedom, inner space, but also with the way you can come in contact, in relation with others.
I think there is in the handicap, in the disease, a lot of potentiality. The human being is inexhaustible at the level of desire, of energy, of inner strength. Ans it's something you discover with maybe more urge, more intensity, when you're deprived of movement.
Powerful stuff here folks, hope you brought a hanky.