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Route de Sort — Dominic Phillips, 2019

Hapless loner, Robert, discovers that, sometimes, the answers in life can be found at the bottom of a bottle.

Robert lives a mundane existence consisting of the same routine of mindless paperwork and eating alone. But when he discovers a bottle containing a letter, his curiosity is piqued and leads him to take the bold step of abandoning his usual way of life and setting off in search of the letter’s intended recipient.

Classroom Activities

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  • Listen carefully to the sound in the opening shot. What sounds can you identify? What does this establish about setting? What impression is created about Robert from this?
  • Compare the shots at 00:30 and 01:28 minutes. What camera shot is used? What is suggested by each of these shots?
  • How is Robert’s routine established throughout the film? What patterns can you identify?
  • Make notes about the colour and saturation in the first half of the film, while Robert is still at home. How do these change when he goes to France? What is revealed through this?
  • Examine the editing between the shots at 03:17 and 03:20 minutes. What do we see in each of these shots? What is the effect of this transition? Why has the filmmaker done this rather than show, for example, Robert walking away or a shot of him at the train station?
  • How is the tension and mystery built up when Paul gets to France? Were you surprised by what he found there?
  • How do the camerawork, sound and composition combine to make the final shot effective? What is the effect created?
  • This film was made for the 48 Hour Film Project and had to feature these elements: Genre – Mystery; Character - Nico (chocolatier); Prop - A bottle; Line of dialogue - "Because of Brexit". How well do you think each element has been integrated into the film?


  • Carry out a ‘Tell Me’ Grid Analysis for this film to identify any similarities, surprises, puzzles and patterns.
  • Why do you think Robert stops when he is tempted to translate the letter?
  • Why do you think Robert initially gives up when he searches for Dordogne? What changes within him to make him finally go on the trip?
  • A popular analogy used in stories is that of a physical journey echoing the emotional journey of a character. Can you think of any other stories, films, etc. which feature a physical journey? Can you identify the character’s emotional journey in that story?
  • What impacts can a mundane and/or lonely life have on a person’s mental health?



  • Write the letter that Robert found and gave to Nico. Who do you think was writing to her grandmother, Juliette? What did the letter say that caused such a strong reaction in Nico?
  • Write a story about what happened to Robert when he returned home from France. Did Robert or his life change at all?
  • Write a poem about loneliness.


  • Write and record an interior monologue for Robert throughout the film.
  • This film was made for the 48 Hour Film Project and had to feature these elements: Genre – Mystery; Character – Nico (chocolatier); Prop – A bottle; Line of dialogue – “Because of Brexit”. Devise and produce your own short film using these elements.


  • Nico is a chocolatier. Design a new type of chocolate, both the bar itself and its packaging. Give it a name.
  • Research Dordogne and draw a tourism poster convincing people to come visit.


  • Role-play the conversation between Robert and Nico when they get inside her house.


  • Robert says his ticket to Dordogne is expensive “because of Brexit”. Investigate the potential impact of Brexit on another everyday item (food, petrol, etc.)

Clip Details

Year of Production 2019
Genre Drama
Curriculum Areas Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and English
Director Dominic Phillips
Country of Origin UK
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Feelings, Relationships, Culture / Society, Work / Ambition, Identity / Self, Communication
Clip Length 06:50
Clip Length 06:50
Age Group S1-S3, S4-S6