"I've written a message on the door to the bubble as a gift to my friends with well-connected neurons...As a free storyteller the cosmos nourishes my voyages." —Babouillec Sp
For most of her life, Hélène, who lives with her parents in rural France, did not communicate. And then, at the age of 21-despite having had no formal schooling or ever having been taught to read or write-she did. By arranging laminated alphabet letters, Hélène created words, then phrases and finally a book, one letter at a time.
And then another book. Under the pen-name Babouillec Sp (the letters stand for sans parole or "non-verbal"), this severely autistic woman writes poetry that can be soaring and childlike, surreal and funny, dense with allusions and filled with insight. Hélène's most recent volume is Eponymous Algorithm, which her parents helped to adapt for the stage. LATEST NEWS FROM THE COSMOS draws us into Hélène's world as the play is developed. In a film unlike any other portrait of a writer, director Julie Bertuccelli (SCHOOL OF BABEL) prompts us to contemplate the nature of creativity and communication, and the hidden potential in humans of all abilities.
"An absorbing portrait of human creativity. Inspirational and informative... If ever there was a movie warning us not to judge a book by its cover, this is the one." —The Hollywood Reporter
Best Documentary Nominee, 2017 César Awards
Audience Award, 2016 Montreal Documentary Film Festival (RIDM)
2017 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival
2017 Tournées Film Festival
2017 Focus on French Cinema
2016 La Rochelle International Film Festival
2016 Auch Festival Indépendances et Créations
2016 Gardanne Festival of Autumn
2016 Lussas Documentary Festival
"Nearly 30 years old, an autistic woman can barely utter a few words. We assume she's behind but discover she's way ahead. When Hélène Nicolas takes hold of the letters placed on a table, she becomes a poet who, under the pseudonym Babouillec, delivers astonishing thoughts and visions." —Telerama
"Placed before this explosive personality, in constant conflict with a very strong interiority that Hélène cannot express in speech, the viewer simultaneously becomes a voyeur and witness to a continuous miracle. Unsettling and captivating." —Premiere
"Having never learned to read, at age 20 Hélène began to compose striking and inspired texts, which describe her vision of the world and society. The film empathetically questions the mysteries of art and intuition." —L'Humanité