Michelle, 86 years old, is an equally obstinate and touching widow and filmmaker Amélie Cabocel’s grandmother. Michelle lives alone in a big house in a lonely area of Lorraine and is probably completely unaware that with every fibre of her existence she bears witness to a vanishing age. But when Amélie tries to persuade her to take part in a photographic and exhibition project, she resolutely makes it her own.
Michelle spends her leisurely days reading the obituaries in the local weekly regularly and with great concentration, making long phone calls to the few surviving “cousins” and leafing patiently through the carefully guarded photo albums in which her memories are preserved. Beyond her private life, these albums and folders are also an eloquent fund of an everyday culture about to disappear. When Michelle’s granddaughter wants to produce a film and an exhibition based on this material, the old lady catches the bug and, with her headstrong personality, adds fuel to an already challenging enterprise. “Forgotten Lands” is the moving portrait of a grandmother from the familiar perspective of her granddaughter, but also an intelligent reflection on the unique ability of photography to record echoes of a life lived.