SynopsisDecember 1969, Thelonious Monk in Paris.
Before his evening concert, he records a programme for French television. The rushes show a Thelonious Monk who is in the grip of the violent factory of stereotypes from which he tries to escape.
The film becomes the crossing of this great artist, who would like to exist only for his music. And the portrait in hollow of a media machine as ridiculous as it is revolting.
Here is the machine in action. Deconstructing these rushes as phantasms. To see the factory of caricatures at work. Deaf, smiling, ambiguous, admiring and sickening. To hold the microphone without listening, to marvel without seeing. Trying to overturn the point of view.
Here is Thelonious going through the ordeal, at work, as if he had landed on a strange planet, where a portrait is being made that he cannot do anything about. Tired by the years spent undergoing this painful exercise.
Fortunately, he plays, and in doing so, he makes more than anything else be said.
“It brings tears to my eyes when I see the shit that my father was going through” T.S Monk Jr.
[72 Berlinale FORUM]
29 HotDocs Best Mid-Length Documentary Jury:
"The jury was impressed by the innovative use of archival, the rigorous cutting, and the relentless quest for intimacy with a subject on the brink of alienation."