B&B with a farmer family
We moved into our quarters near Chartres at a very nice B&B with a farmer family near the town. that sounds romantic, the old farmhouse was it too. And the young family with two small children gave us a warm welcome. Agriculture near Chartres means large-scale cultivation of grain. Large machines belonged to the farm. The harvest was imminent. So not a trace of quiet rural seclusion.
The end of the film excerpt has a special story. It shows the cathedral from a place to the east where the sun goes down directly above the church in the evening. It was not easy to find this point on a small road 10, 12 kilometres to the east of the cathedral, especially as the research took place in June, but the photographs were scheduled for September. But we found the place, it is on one of the paths that students from Paris take every year on Palm Sunday on their pilgrimage to Chartres.
The pilgrimage on Palm Sunday
When we filmed the pilgrimage on Palm Sunday 1997, over 5,000 students took part in the pilgrimage. When the pilgrims arrive in Chartres, they gather with their palm branches in front of the closed portal. Cardinal Lustiger opened the royal portal of the church with hard blows and the crowd of pilgrims advanced into the huge nave – symbol of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. An incredibly deeply moving experience. The cameraman Philipp Müller “swam” with his Steadycam in the middle of the students streaming into the church. To the displeasure of the Cardinal, he turned from the altar when the mass had already begun. These are the moments when the director gets into conflict. We were allowed to disturb, yes had to disturb, but better from the background. But the really spectacular shots are at the front.