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Documentaries // Sport & extreme sports

ROUGH DIAMOND


52'
2019


VERSION(S)
French, M&E

SUPPORT(S)
HD

PRODUCER(S)
Puzzle Media

DIRECTOR
Frank Dalmat

A man has a dream. To climb Diamond Rock, the unspoilt jewel of the islets surrounding Martinique. But the adventure is difficult from all points of view: public access to the rock is prohibited and the sportsman is physically disabled. And yet this challenge is highly symbolic for a local boy, torn from his island at the age of four. This film tells his story.


Once upon a time on a small island in the Caribbean, there were two strange forces of nature: a child and a rock. Two parallel destinies, both resulting from a trauma.

Philippe Ribière was born here 42 years ago with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes a deformation of the hands and feet. His biological parents abandoned him at birth.

Diamond Rock is a remnant of the strong volcanic activity that shifted and restructured this region almost a million years ago. From this geological disaster sprang a magnificent basalt rock 175 meters high.

After 4 years in an orphanage, punctuated by surgical operations that allowed him to recover some of his mobility, the child was adopted and left Martinique for the metropolis, where he spent a chaotic childhood, haunted by mockery and rejection.

For a long time, the rock, covered in undergrowth and cacti and almost inaccessible, was largely unused, serving no real purpose until the beginning of the 19th century, during the Napoleonic wars.

As a teenager, the child was rejected again when he tried to join a cycling club. It was then that he discovered climbing, an activity that finally enabled him to overcome his handicap. He began to compete, and created Paraclimbing in 2003, setting an example for all those who suffer, like him. His difference became his strength, and he won the bronze medal at the world championships in 2011.

Because of its unique and unforgettable geology, today the rock is a symbol and the pride of Martinique. It is the flagship of a string of satellite islets with their own ecological characteristics, enjoying even more sunshine than the main island. Never inhabited by humans, the Diamond is an exceptionally bio-diverse wildlife sanctuary.

Now, these two solitary rocks come face to face in a unique adventure. But for Philippe Ribière, this return to the land of his birth will also reveal some parallel and unexpected paths.


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