Traces of life

Documentary 52 ‘

A film by Catherine Michelet

Written by Jean-Michel Chazine

Produced by L ‘Azalaï, CNRS Images

Music by Pierre Estève


Where do the Austronesians come from? How did they live? Still no certain answer, because those who were at the origin of the settlement of the Pacific have hardly left any material traces. But, in the Philippines, they have direct descendants: the TautBatu. Ethno-archaeologist, researcher at the CNRS, Jean-Michel Chazine considers himself “an ethnologist who arrives late”, when human life has gone elsewhere and all that remains of it are traces and waste. Traces of the lives of men and women left a few days ago, a few weeks … or a few thousand years ago. Traveler-reporter, Catherine Michelet accompanies Jean-Michel Chazine and his Franco-Philippine team to Palawan, in the south of the Philippines to follow their investigation between present and past, ethnology and archeology. Through these two rarely associated disciplines, she discovers at the same time the most preserved island of the Philippines, a fundamentally empirical profession and new hypotheses on the enigmatic history of the settlement of the Pacific.