Freedom The Franco-American poet has chosen to live outside to keep his spirit of freedom. A documentary is dedicated to him
Chris Ames has chosen to live under a bridge, in Rennes, to be closer to his son. The Franco-American poet testifies in a documentary. — Aligal Production
- Arrived in Rennes in 2020, Chris Ames lives under a bridge located under the boulevard Laënnec. A choice of freedom.
- The Franco-American poet is the subject of a documentary which follows him in his life outside, but also in the Paris metro, where he sells his books.
- In the cold of winter, the film shows the difficult life led by people on the streets.
“I can be stupid sometimes, but I am much more than ça”. The curved back Under his makeshift shelter, Chris Ames stirs his coffee. with the handle of a brush. teeth. A moment of comfort in the cold Rennes winter. That night, the thermometer will flirt with 0 degrees. in the Breton capital. A bit more in the tent of this homeless man. under the Laënnec bridge. Aged 61 years old, this Franco-American is not a homeless person like the others. Because he has “chosen” to live outside. Besides, Chris doesn’t like to say he’s the street. “I am not to the street, I live under a bridge. It’s a choice. It”s my permanent home,” he explains in his American accent. He then deals with decorate a Christmas tree which sits proudly in the middle of its fragile camp installed; on the banks of the Vilaine, ` two steps from the city center of Rennes.
All these images are taken from the documentary Sous le pont Laënnec, which will be released to from this Thursday on the local channel TVR. Realized by David Morvan and Erwan Le Guillermic, this fifty-two minute film paints a sensitive portrait of this homeless “not like the others”. “Chris is a UFO in the street world where; most guys suffer from addictions. alcohol or Drugs. We often think that a guy who lives in the street has problems or that he has had them. Him, this is not the case, he chose to be there,” sums up David Morvan. In the documentary, Chris explains that he is “tolerant of street people”, but clarifies that he’s “not very comradely with them”
“He was happy to be talked about”
The man has arrived. severe; in 2020, just before France went into lockdown. He settled down. under the Laënnec bridge “by chance” after the death of a homeless man surviving there. Sheltered from the rain, the Franco-American poet did not move. from. It’s at the fall of 2020 that he came across the road of Erwan Le Guillermic. The director from Rennes, who lives just outside side, then takes advantage of its perimeter of one kilometer of imposed walk. by the health crisis to get to know his new neighbour. “He told me his life before, his passion for poetry. When we met him, it’s the moment when he had just arrived at Rennes to get closer to his son. He accepted; the idea of the film straight away, he was happy that people were talking about him,” explains the director from Rennes.
Installed at Paris, Chris’s daughter is more bitter, believing that her choice of father keeps her from seeing him more. This choice to live outside could also end for his father. Suffering from loneliness, Chris Ames would like to find the love and warmth of a home. “But the women don’t like to come into the tent, they don’t feel safe. If I want to find someone, I have to be normal,” he reminds. The poet, who saw several of his texts published in a collection a few months ago, has just left for a solitary trip to Saudi Arabia. A way to get through the warm winter before returning to the countryside. Reindeer in the spring. According to the directors, Chris could then apply for housing.
What20 Minutes thought
The directors paint the touching portrait of a man who is both inspiring and questioning. Described as “a UFO”, the Franco-American does not have “the profile” of the homeless. But this immersion in the daily life of an invisible person gives a glimpse of the harshness of the street world, bathed in the cold, wandering and addictions. A documentary that makes you think about the spirit of freedom, but above all reminds us of the chance to have a roof and a warm bed.