Images from a 20,000 km journey through West Africa: furtive visions from the depths of the bush, women, men, children, the power of a gaze, of daily gestures. But also a school teacher, a school, what one learns there, the French language. And the words of men: testimony, questioning, between archaism and modernity. Woven through the images: the face of a young girl, whose golden earrings sparkle.
After several years of collaboration writing, directing and producing theatrical works, Lise Bellynck and Frédéric Aspisi realised one film together, «By way of the mountains». This film was selected in many festivals among which: 31st International Film Festival of Uruguay _ Festival Côté Court/France _ XVI Pärnu International Film Festival/Estonia _ 13rd Bansko Film Festival 2013/Bulgaria _ Un festival c’est trop court/France _ 15th Mumbai film festival/Inde _ Festival de Cine Solidario #10/Sant Sadurní d'Anoia/Espagne. Black Skins, White Masks is the second film they make together.
Lise Bellynck was born in 1976. She trained as an actress at Florent (Paris) and followed various theater workshops, including one with Jean-Michel Rabeux and one with Nicolas Klotz. She was directed on stage by Frederic Aspisi in «Décharges» and «Toujours le même fanstasme» (Théâtre de la Bastille — Paris). She took major roles in two films by Jean-Claude Brisseau «Les Anges Exterminateurs», selected at Directors' Fortnight in 2006 and «A l'aventure». She recently made an appearance in «La fille de nulle part», also by Jean-Claude Brisseau, that won top honor in 2012, in Locarno. In 2011, she played the lead role in «Douce», a short film directed by Sébastien Bailly. She also wrote for «Les Cahiers du Cinema» and worked during three years to program the European Medium-length Film Meetings, in Brive-la-Gaillarde. Since spring 2011, she spends most of her time with Frédéric Aspisi to achieve «By Way of the Mountains», and «Black Skins, White Masks».
Frédéric Aspisi was born in 1972 in France, he's a writer, director and actor. He began his art education in a film school in Madrid (Taller de Artes Imaginarias) in 1991. He perfected his dramatic writing by learning in the Parisian's acting school, Florent, and in many theater workshops. In September 1994, he created a theater group. He wrote, directed and played a dozen of shows - and also worked as an actor or assistant stage in other productions. In 2007, his theater company became double with headquarters in Paris, Berlin and projects a little bit more European. November 14th, 2009, Frédéric Aspisi played for the last time on a theater stage before settling in the Hautes-Alpes (south part of the French Alps). After a winter on the roads of west Africa where, together with Lise Bellynck, they showed films in remote villages, in the bush, he decided to write, direct and produce «By Way of the Moutains», and «Black Skins, White Masks» with Lise Bellynck