Anais Goes to War
Directed by Marion Gervais • Documentary • 2014 • 46 minutes
Anaïs is a determined and energetic 24-year-old with a dream: to have her own farm and make herbal teas from her plants in Brittany. But getting there won't be easy.
While Anaïs clearly loves spending her days among aromatic plants—pruning, transplanting, weeding, and blending teas—she also has to deal with financial hardship, poor-quality soil, and the challenges of marketing her products. After paying rent on her farm fields, she has just over 100 Euros a month to live on. When we first meet her, she is living in a tiny trailer with no power or running water.
Still, she persists. On a trip to Paris (in high heels and a stylishly retro jacket, but with her legs covered in scratches), Anaïs meets potential clients who tell her to launch a website, play herself up as edgy and punk, and target uber-chic groceries with her products. Back in Brittany, one of her mentors says to remain genuine, and not get burned by trying to be trendy. Meanwhile, her mother laments that she's chosen a life with no security and few prospects for advancement.
ANAÏS GOES TO WAR is a closely observed portrait of a young woman who is trying to forge her own path, and who values freedom and doing the hard work she loves over the security of a mundane job.