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For most of her life, Hélène, who lives with her parents in rural France, did not communicate. And then, at the age of 21-despite having had no formal schooling or ever having been taught to read or write-she did. By arranging laminated alphabet letters, Hélène created words, then phrases and finally a book, one letter at a time. And then another book.
Under the pen-name Babouillec Sp (the letters stand for sans parole or “non-verbal”), this severely autistic woman writes poetry that can be soaring and childlike, surreal and funny, dense with allusions and filled with insight. In a film unlike any other portrait of a writer, director Julie Bertuccelli (School of Babel) prompts us to contemplate the nature of creativity and communication, and the hidden potential in humans of all abilities.
DOCUMENTARY, FRANCE, 2016
DIRECTED BY JULIE BERTUCELLI
CAST: HÉLÈNE 'BABOUILLEC' NICOLAS
RUNNING TIME: 89 MINS