On Zenith’s Edge

Natyvel Pontalier

I come from a people - the Fangs - where the dead never leave the living.
But since we became Christians we can't hear them anymore.

Lost between what I know and what I see, between the here below and the beyond, I lead an initiatory quest that allows me to reveal our story, the one that has not been transmitted.



  • Natyvel Pontalier
  • Creative documentary
  • 55'
  • Lenguages: French, Fang
  • Image: Hélène Motteau
  • Sound: Ophélie Boully
  • Editing: Emma Augier
  • Sound Editing: Arno Ledoux
  • Mix: Jeff Levillain
  • Colorgrading: Michaël Cinquin
  • Assistant Director: Marlène Alene
  • Assistant Editor: Wei-Yuan Song
  • Producers: Mathilde Raczymow (Les Films du Bilboquet, France), Aurélien Bodinaux (Néon Rouge, Belgium), Pierre Ceccaldi (Princesse M, Gabon)


  • Tënk
  • TV5 Monde
  • CNC
  • Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
  • Procirep-Angoa
  • Brouillon d'un rêve SCAM
  • Shelter Prod
  • Taxhselter.be
  • Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles
  • Wallonie Image Production


  • FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DU FILM D'AMIENS • En compétition • 11-19 novembre 2022
  • Festival Black Movie | Entretien avec Natyvel Pontalier à lire sur Polyester

projections and selections in Festivals

  • IDFA • Luminous & unConscious Bias • Amsterdam, from November 20th to 25th, 2021
  • “Her given name is that of a Biblical saint; her surname comes from a French forebear. But the family history of filmmaker Natyvel Pontalier reaches much further back than that. In On the Zenith’s Edge she takes a dive into the culture of her Gabonese ancestors, which was forced aside by Christian colonists.
  • “Who were we before we were discovered?” This is just one of the questions Pontalier wonders about in her accompanying voiceover, as she recalls memories of her family over calm scenes of Gabonese jungles and villages drifting by. She talks of transcendental experiences in which her ancestors make contact to keep their traditions alive.
  • The musical and spiritual traditions of the Fang community feature heavily, proving that nothing has been lost with the passing of the centuries. While the outside culture imposed on them has left its mark, the unique and indestructible core has been preserved.”
  • FIPADOC • International competition • Biarritz, 2022
  • BLACK MOVIEGenève, 2022