Programmed by Nadine Gomez
French, English, Amharic, Tigrigna, Arab, Pashto
Sélection - FIDMarseille
Winter 2016. The Calais Jungle is a growing city of about 12 000. In the early spring, the Southern zone, its shops, streets and houses, are completely destroyed. Its expelled population move their houses to the Northern zone to find shelter and keep on living. In the fall, the France organizes the permanent dismantling of the Jungle. But the Jungle is a mutating territory, a world-city, a city of the future: even destroyed, it always rises from its ashes. Shot with young people trapped in the turmoil of wars, police violence, and their attempts at crossing the border to get to England, The Wild Frontier could be a forgotten episode of Homer’s Odyssey.
A word from Tënk
The jungle is the name used to refer to the makeshift camps inhabited by refugees attempting to cross Europe’s borders. One of the best known jungles is in Calais, dismantled in 2016, after having housed between eight to twelve thousand people: a formless territory, a city at the end of the world. With The Wild Frontier , Nicolas Klotz and Élisabeth Perceval give us a powerful film, guided by an instinct that unveils the contours and the beauty of this strange habitat. Their film is sober but does not court misery, as they pay worthy tribute to every person they encounter. No compromises are made aesthetically or poetically; as with everything, the ultimate secret is time. Without rushing into anything, the filmmakers capture stories, converse, question, confronting, in the process, the aftershocks of too many geopolitical crises that seem stuck on repeat like a broken record. From the perspective of this stretched temporality dictated by place, slowly but surely, truly Homeric and tragic journeys emerge and are accorded the centering that they deserve, wherein the human takes precedence over everything else. An epic that reminds us that the accumulation of all of these stories will be reduced to the only one worthwhile, belonging, in the end, to those who carry it, for whom it is either the heaviest baggage, or the only ray of hope. This film is their noble witness.