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The Project : The Slow Fast Walk

The Mackenzie Mountains, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains, in the American North, form a 233,125 km2 (6 times Switzerland) range between the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, Canada. Located just under the Arctic Circle, it peaks at 2972m (Keele Peak) and contains 55% of the world’s tungsten reserves.

This territory is devoid of any city …

Only two roads venture into these areas: Nahanni Range Road and Canol Road, both on the Yukon side. On the Northwest Territory side, there are only the remains of an old pipe line that was dismantled just after the Second World War and ends at the Canol Road terminus.

It is on foot and without eating that Florian Gomet, lecturer, traveler, lumberjack, and author of multiple adventures on the edge of physical possibilities, proposes to cross this immaculate territory.

Fasting is the deprivation, voluntary or otherwise, of food, accompanied or not by deprivation of drink. (…) Fasting triggers mechanisms of physiological adaptations that are the legacy of the slow process of evolution.
– source Larousse

Therapeutic fasting means to voluntarily give up, over a fixed period of time, to ingest a solid food, preferably under medical supervision, surrounded by safety, human warmth and attentive skills. You can strengthen your immune system, stimulate your self-healing mechanisms, treat many chronic diseases and, more generally, gain vitality and well-being.
– source : clinique du jeûne Wilhelmi-Buchinger

Florian’s route starts from Norman Wells in the Northwest Territories, an oil town on the banks of the MacKenzie River, to follow the former 360-kilometer pipeline route (called the Canol Heritage Trail) at MacMillan Pass on the Yukon border and continues for 210 km from Canol Road to Ross River, end of the adventure. At the pass accessible by road only in summer, there is a weather station, an airstrip for aircraft and a small tourist center called Dechenla Lodge. Everywhere else, it is a sanctuary for grizzly bears, wolves and caribou where the exceptional richness of the outcrops allows to trace the whole history of the Earth. Also a true open-air museum of the Second World War, the Canol Heritage Trail is recognized as the most difficult and remote trek in the world. Rivers have to be crossed by fording or swimming and rare are the trekkers who overcome them without having previously organized food supplies by air.

Where do meet the most advanced hygienism, a fierce personal, wild authenticity of one of the last natural sanctuaries of the planet, and the momentum of life for a young man in full internal reconstruction


The Film

This film is for me the natural next step, after having investigated raw vegetable food for TUANI and before that put into practice this way of life in my different expeditions and shootings – knowing that 7 years ago I was already making a first documentary on the subject.

In recent years, the public has shown increasing need for alternative answers where conventional medicine is slowly admitting being disarmed: epidemics of chronic degenerative diseases and / or pain, cancer, obesity, diabetes … A wave back to ancestral physiological practices and the awakening to a healthy diet are already under way, I believe.

From a documentary point of view, through THE SLOW FAST WALK, I first wish to reiterate the fusion made in TUANI, of a singular form of adventure with a search for well-being and health, all in joy, discovery and fulfillment. My intention is also to document the fast in a scientific and solid way to offer avenues for reflection and practical application. Florian will undergo a comprehensive medical follow-up. The speakers will be many, starting with Sarah, the scientist who accompany and provides Florian with health monitoring and to whom fasting is a specialty, but also doctors, naturopaths, practitioners and supervisors fasting, critics of the practice, Nutritionists also historians because fasting is an ancient practice.

From a technical and aesthetic point of view, I consider this film as a contemporary western, with precise use of the drone and slide shots, as I always like to do. It will be as an authentic and endearing ‘man-versus-wild’  (with subjective and intimate cameras), with a somewhat mysterious ambience, centered on the so atypical character – and yet so human – Florian. I’m eager to document the almost unexplored region of the Mackenzie Mountains and the rare neighboring populations with which Florian will have to exchange and interact – why not by challenging their relation to health, to food, and to the energy of living. Beyond the fast that we want to experience in an advanced way, it is also a relevant framework to reflect on this return to nature, the roots of our well-being and our health, which I mentioned above .

It will therefore be a haunting and troubling film, with a breath of stardom, but with solid documentation and immersive narrative, with a visual work around the sets and the place that the lonely man gives himself: like I said, a modern western and a personal quest with dimensions and collective impacts.

– Damien

More pictures in this album.