In the Roya valley located between France and Italy, thousands of migrants try to cross the border each month in search for a better life. Cédric Herrou, a local farmer, has been welcoming migrants at his home since the beginning of the crisis, turning his backyard into a much-needed shelter. With the help of friends and volunteers, he challenges French immigration policies which make impossible for these families to set foot on French ground and seek asylum. Filmed during two years by documentary filmmaker Michel Toesca, this everyday hero will do anything to help them, even risking his own freedom.
How will we go down in history? While it’s easy to look back at historical accounts and judge people who were cowardly, who capitulated, who turned their gaze away from pivotal moments when humanity was put to the test, we have no idea how we would respond under the same circumstances. Would we recognize what was at stake? Would we have the necessary courage to act? Would the individual sacrifices required seem justified to us, or would we make excuses to distance ourselves from responsibility?
Cedric Herrou, a small farmer, was caring for his olive trees in the Roya valley when he was struck by the progressive arrival of African migrants in the area. He quickly changed from a mere bystander to a helper. By coming to their aid, deciding not to turn away, by putting himself in danger, Herrou reminds us that history does not wait to be recorded in textbooks, but is constantly in motion. It’s up to us to decide what role we will play.
Tënk's Artistic Director
Michel Toesca is a French filmmaker born in 1960. A self-taught editor and sound-recordist, he directed his first short film Muthos in 1983. After working on several TV shows, he joined filmmaker Claire Simon to work as a sound designer and an editor on her documentary features 800 km de différence - Romance and Mimi before directing his own first feature: J’irai cracher sur vos tongs, in 2005. In 2008, he left Paris and moved to Saorge in the Roya valley, where takes place his latest film: To The Four Winds.