Le Chant des Hommes : Speak for the voiceless
by Aurore Engelen
- Le Chant des Hommes gives faces and voices to the shared, but unique, fortunes of migrants who are taxing their bodies one last time to reach their goal
The migrants are called Moktar, Najat, Joseph, Gernaz, Duriad, Hayder, Kader and Esma... They have fled from Syria, Iran, the Congo, Morocco and Niger... And together they decide to occupy a church. They will risk their lives for the documents they need. They start counting the days and their strength begins to be tested. Inside, Kader (Assaâd Bouab) leads the struggle, but comes and goes in secret. Esma (Maryam Zarée) is uncompromising in the way she organises this community's life. As fatigue grows, tensions start to emerge. But their bonds are tight-knit and getting stronger. Between betrayals and alliances, the group must put itself to the test and find a way to get by.
Le Chant des Hommes [+see also:
film profile] tells the tales of the numerous communities of illegal immigrants occupying churches, often reported on by the media at their dramatic climax, be it in France or Belgium. In this film, Bénédicte Liénard and Mary Jimenez, both with a background in documentaries, endeavour to describe the daily life of these people who have lost their roots and are seeking a better, but still uncertain, future. They follow this community which was created by force of circumstance, and show the way in which it somehow organises itself, mixing little lies and strong solidarity. They film as many unique fates as they do characters, giving a face to each of these stories of exile – stories that, at times, seem so distant from us. Le Chant des Hommes is produced by Tarantula Belgique, in co-production with Tarantula Luxembourg and JBA Production in France. The film is being distributed in Brussels and Wallonia by Tarantula.
This week also sees the release of another Belgian film, Diedard Esseldeurs' Helden van de Zee, a new film adaptation of a television programme, a cinematographic genre for which Flemish audiences and producers seem to have a particular fondness. It's a film targeted at (young) teenagers, and is set for an opportune release date just a few days out from the school holidays in both Brussels and Flanders.
(Translated from French)