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The Double Steps

Inspired by the life of the French painter and writer François Augiéras, Isaki Lacuesta fills the screen with the striking landscapes and engaging mysteries of Augiéras's beloved West Africa. Augiéras created a series of murals in an abandoned military bunker at a remote, undisclosed location in Mali, a Sistine Chapel in the middle of nowhere. He covered the bunker with sand to protect the paintings for more enlightened humans-ones who can decipher the cryptic clues to its whereabouts that he left behind. “The best way to escape from your pursuers without leaving any trail,” says Augiéras, “is to walk backwards over your own footprints.” In this layered tale, the fractured logic of poetry prevails over any linear reality. A black African, Bokar Dembele, is cast as a soldier who imagines he is Augiéras and goes in search of the bunker. The real-life artist Miquel Barceló creates intriguing Rorschach-like watercolors throughout the film, which serve as another thread in the fabric of conundrums, mysteries, riddles, and paradoxes woven from the folk wisdom of the Dogon people. The Double Steps garnered international attention at its world premiere in the fall of 2011 at the San Sebastian Film Festival, winning the festival's top prize, the Golden Shell.

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