DIRECTED BY: Alice Diop COUNTRY: France YEAR: 2020 SPOKEN LANGUAGE(S): French SUBTITLES: English, German RUNNING TIME: 115 min
SECTION: International Competition
The RER B is an urban train that traverses Paris and its environs from north to south. Multiaward-winning documentary filmmaker Alice Diop takes us through these suburban spaces and confronts us with some of the faces and stories of which they are composed.
A moving testament to the importance of filming as a process of bearing witness and remembering, Nous is timely in many ways. It is subtle and shrewd in a world which favours shortcuts and easy answers. Justifiably adopting the fragmented structure of a patchwork portrait in order to describe a riven society, Diop displays impressive control of her essay and its impact. In the film’s first few minutes, a deer is observed, through binoculars. A certain sense of awkward, man-made distance stays with us. Isolation, discrimination and nostalgia for hierarchies, inherited from a monarchical past… Divisions haunt France’s present. But the human urge to give as well as to receive stubbornly creeps into every situation, observed or triggered. Could this be the one thing that still keeps a nation together?
Alice Diop was born in Aulnay-sous-Bois, France. Her films, which question French society and its cultural diversity, have screened at festivals including Cinéma du Réel in Paris, BFI London, Karlovy Vary, the Viennale and the documentary film festival in Lussas, France. Her feature-length documentary ON CALL won the main prize at Cinéma du Réel while her short film TOWARDS TENDERNESS won the 2017 César French film prize for Best Short Film
Les Senegalaises et la Senegauloise (2007), Danton’s Death (2011),Towards Tenderness (2016), On Call (2016), We (2021)
SCRIPT: Alice Diop PRODUCER: Sophie Salbot CINEMATOGRAPHY: Sarah Blum, Sylvain Verdet, Clément Alline EDITOR: Amrita David
PRODUCTION COMPANY: AthénaÏse WORLD SALES: Totem Films (firstname.lastname@example.org)