We Had the Day Bonsoir

  • 63'
  • France
  • 2022

A love song for the dead, We Had the Day Bonsoir reaches beyond mourning and eulogy – towards something eternal. With fragments of intimate documentary sound and film, Narimane Mari captures a vivid yet oblique portrait of her late partner, the painter Michel Haas. It's an ode to a specific life through the eyes and ears of his lover, but also to life itself.

Through her eyes, we see someone full of that life right up to his final days: on all fours painting in the dirt, laughing childlike at Chaplin, swearing at the camera. But Mari seems more concerned with listening: to voicemail epiphanies between the two lovers, to an unanswered plea from Haas's doctor, to the lapping of waves. With these lyrical fragments, the film often ponders along with Haas and Mari about the impossibility of endings. How the ‘illusion’ of time passing clashes with the will of human stories, and of art, to endure.

“Every soul is a melody that needs to be renewed”, Mari says, bidding us listen. Because, the film keeps reminding us, what we see intimately of Haas and his work is only a glimpse of what always remains – just off frame, out of earshot, after the final cut.

 

Callum McLean

Director
Narimane Mari
Premiere
Dutch Premiere
Country of production
France
Year
2022
Festival Edition
IFFR 2023
Length
63'
Medium
DCP
Original title
On a eu la journée bonsoir
Languages
French, English
Producer
Narimane Mari
Production Company
Centrale Electrique
Sales
Pascale Ramonda
Screenplay
Narimane Mari, Michel Haas
Cinematography
Narimane Mari
Editor
Narimane Mari
Sound Design
Narimane Mari, Antoine Morin
Cast
Michel Haas