by Loïc Tanson
Luxembourg, Belgium, 2023, 125', color, b/w
05 December 18:30 - Cineteca Milano Arlecchino

1838. Over the course of several centuries Luxembourg was subject to successive authoritarian and foreign regimes. Waves of famine and disease have now decimated its population. In the northern parts of the poverty-stricken region, The Graff family, a patriarch at its head, prevails within the walls of an isolated village. Thanks to them, its inhabitants have survived incessant woes and calamities. To guarantee their future, they have established strict, pious and oppressive rules that must be followed rigorously. But Helene, barely twelve years old, refuses to obey and tries to escape with the help of Graff’s youngest son, Jon, who is deeply attached to Helene. 15 years later Luxembourg is finally an independent nation. The landscape is being transformed by the construction of a railway, but the Graff family are still the undisputed rulers of their fortified village, despite the ageing and increasing physical fragility of the patriarch. When they discover a stranger, Oona, near the dead body of Graff’s right-hand man, they decide to welcome her into the village.

Frédéric Zeimet
Loïc Tanson
Nikos Welter
Loïc Tanson

Thorunn Egilsdottir
Mike Koster
production design
Christina Schaffer
Magdalena Labuz

Sophie Mousel
Timo Wagner
Jules Werner
Marie Jung
Luc Schiltz
Jeanne Werner
Philippe Thelen
Jean-Paul Maes
Denis Jousselin
Max Gindorff
Tommy Schlesser
Larisa Faber
Konstantin Rommelfangen
Giusi Carenza
Jamie Baillie
Lou Beltramini

Claude Waringo
Patrick Quinet

Samsa Film production
Artémis Productions
world sales
One Eyed Films

The Last Ashes is rooted in a population closed in on itself, its traditions and its piety – traces of which still exist in current generations. However, I chose to anchor the story of The Last Ashes in the frame of a fairy tale, like those by Charles Perrault, whose desire in the 17th century was to make the fairy tale as popular as possible and for it to gain recognition as a literary genre. Perrault appropriated popular folk stories from the oral tradition and turned them into highly moral fairy tales. Mixing human barbarity with bloody violence, Perrault’s literary world describes a blunt and undeniable cruelty – a cruelty that can be understood in its etymological sense: Whoever sheds human blood.” (Loïc Tanson)

Loïc Tanson is a Luxembourg director and author. After studying cinema at the European Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual in Nancy, he attended a directing workshop at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. He has also worked as a journalist and film critic since 2003, both for the written press, as well as for the television and radio press. From 2005 to 2007, he was responsible for programming at the Utopia S.A. movie theatres group. In 2016, after co-directing three short films with Thierry Besseling (Laaf, Le faux depart and Sur le fil), he co-directed, still with Thierry Besseling but also with Rui Abreu, the documentary Eldorado. The Last Ashes is his first feature.

2023 Läif a séil
2017 Sur le fil (short, with Thierry Besseling)
2016 Eldorado
(doc, with Thierry Besseling and Rui Abreu)
2013 Le faux départ (short, with Thierry Besseling)
2011 Laaf (short, with Thierry Besseling)