By Monica Delgado
Sylvain George returns again to the black and white underworld of his previous documentary Qu’ils reposent en révolte (des figures de guerres), this time through fragments of the same shooting period, a four year task from which he now elaborates a B-side track of sorts. In an hour and a half, Georges edits new work with material unused from his 2010 documentary, without losing the force and the unveiling of the immigrant condition in a country which treats them as non-citizens.
New moments and images of the same episodes of escape, persecution and declarations are shown in Les Eclats (Ma gueule, ma revolte, mon nom). Powerful, humane and surprising moments: The transparency of the clandestine figure of the Arab or African immigrant in northern Calais, the backdoor to England, the land of golden dreams of thousands of invisible people who appear in all their anguish for survival in a hostile Europe.
Sylvain describes street ways of life during a three year period (from July of 2007 to November last year): Images of unemployment, of escapes from the police, medical visits, deportations, and above all, the recollection of sensitive impressions about the heavy inescapable burden of living far from home, without work, with no qualifications, without a place to live. “We blame the politicians” says an Afghan interviewee.
Through different episodes or fragments shown in a saturated black and white (which propitiates the lecture of uneasiness and helps the documentary registry of fixated shots which aim the faces from an inclined plane) Sylvain records testimonies of immigrants from different places in Africa and the Middle East: People from Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria. To complement that, he shows quotidian scenes, like a bath on a river shore, or the sharing of a common food pot. But Sylvain George doesn’t just stop with the humane (like the scene of men erasing their fingerprints to remain unidentified at the borders), he also questions the policies initiated by Sarkozy’s government and the European Union against this immigration phenomenon.
Sylvain George’s Qu’ils reposent en révolte (des figures de guerres) is a documentary with powerful scenes, and this B-side is its perfect complement: a reminder that the situation hasn’t changed in time, but despite it all there’s still a halo of optimism, of freedom and the promise of a fulfilling life.
Director: Sylvain George
Producer: Sylvain George
Screenwriter: Sylvain George
Cinematography: Sylvain George
Cast: Sylvain George
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