The Strange Story of Prince Dethmer

The Strange Story of Prince Dethmer
Hadrien La Vapeur and Corto Vaclav

In a working-class district of Brazzaville, a promising dancer named Prince Dethmer is found dead, hit by a truck. His family organizes a funeral, inviting all his artist friends to pay him a last tribute. A few days later, Prince Dethmer reappears in the city, with no knowledge of having been buried. Confusion reigns and the young dancer struggles to convince that he is not a returner. A true story in 21st Century Africa.

Assistant for ten years of Philippe Garrel, Hadrien La Vapeur turns to the realization of experimental films in super 8. At the same time, his photographic work leads him in the exploration of abandoned places in search of forgotten presences. In 2009, as he pursued his quest for uncultivated buildings in Rio de Janeiro, he landed by mistake in a possession ritual. This encounter with the spirits upsets his vision of the world and urges La Vapeur to investigate the relationships that humans can maintain with the invisible entities. In 2013, he went to Congo, where men lived daily with disembodied beings, in order to immerse themselves in this reality and to shoot documentaries in direct cinema.

An anthropologist trained on the benches of Nanterre, Corto Vaclav discovers the work of Jean Rouch and is immediately passionate for Africa and the cinema. He then approached the Ethnographic Film Committee for which he worked two years in a row, allowing him to establish many relationships with this world of explorers-filmmakers whose stories fascinate him. There he meets Hadrien La Vapeur, who seeks a soundman to go to the Congo. Very quickly, the journey is transformed into an initiatory and protean exploration. The two accomplices then decided to found the multimedia collection Expedition Invisible to regroup their different works together.