From the film-maker:
Henri Rousseau never set foot outside France. His jungle painting remains purely a product of his imagination. Rather than simply depicting an actual exotic topography it creates a dreamlike, unreal space through a naive clarity that results from spatial flatness, a bold colour palette and strong graphic lines. It is a powerful mental image that appeals to our desires, and speaks of our yearning for the strange and for the other. In “The Traveller” I wanted to show man’s effort to break out of the narrowness of his existence and his need to transcend life through imagination. When the film’s protagonist confronts the borders of the “home” he was put in – characterized by confining spaces such as the claustrophobic corridors – he realizes his inability to escape his entrapment in a lifeless, suffocating environment. Consequently he retreats into the liberating as well as empowering fantasy of a faraway place, Rousseau’s imaginary jungle. We witness the bittersweet triumph of the creative mind over the shortcomings of being. It is the world inside the head – and not the “real” one outside – that proves to be vital.
A piece inspired by Henri Rousseau, Surprised!,1468