Following her research on the memory stored in the things of everyday life, Avant la lumière proposes the film medium as a means of archiving rural living before the use of electricity. It brings together various types of registration ranging from documentary to fiction, and reveals the mechanisms used by the artist for its creation, i.e. the film crew, the preparation of the actors, and the fortuitous finding of objects for the atrezzo. Following the descriptions and anecdotes made by the members of ‘Association des amis du Musée de la Memoire’, around several of household items, the house becomes a film set for a multilayered study on the mechanisms of memory and shows us that memory is, in fact, a theater made of our present expectations. What remains of our ancestors’ rural existence are our own interpretations, seen from a present that evokes and recreates a former modus vivendi that tends to be idealised and tinged with nostalgia.
Valldosera points at the universal contents under the particular visions in the wish to preserve a thread linking us to our origins by understanding the struggle for human survival in the environment, in step with nature and not against it, as seems not to be forgotten today. This film does not only aim to be the testimony of a project on local heritage by a group of persons, which is next to his end, but also highlights the film medium as a contemporary event by which to re-update our past and a way of activating the potential hidden under layers of oblivion and prejudices.