Comme un aimant - Like a Magnet

Director: Kamel Saleh, France 2000, 90 min.

The story centres on a group of childhood friends, now mostly in their thirties and living in Marseilles in a neighbourhood known as Le Panier. Mostly unemployed, they indulge in petty criminal pursuits such as bag-stealing and fraud, until their behaviour catches up with them, with tragic results.

Dernier Maquis - Adhen

Director: Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, France 2008, 93 min.

The owner of of a pallet producing factory in the suburbs of Paris, Mao, aims to build a mosque for his muslim employees. What he does not recognizes is that muslim is not muslim – and cultural and religious differences between Arabs and Black Africans even appear to end up in violent disputes.

Entre les Murs - The Class

Director: Laurent Cantet, France 2008, 128 min.

Based on the book by François Bégaudeau, who plays himself, the movie documents a teacher's challenging his class to an atmosphere of respect and motivation for education in Paris' multicultural 20th arrondisment. All teenage students are lay actors from a real class. And as François puts challenges to the students, so do they on him.

France 2007

Director: Gee–Jung Jun, France 2007, 18 min.

At first, Gee–Jung Jun's film debut is more reminiscent of randomly found film material from the beginning of the last century than a carefully constructed record of life in the Roma community in the French city of Lyon in 2007. In disconcerting silence, black–and–white pictures speak eloquently of people living on the edge of society. They have a quotidian quality as though they are being played out at a seemingly different time rooted in one moment without history. The director approaches his subjects with immediacy and profound human interest, but he maintains his distance in the film and offers room for reflection. This remarkable picture has picked up a host of awards at various European documentary festivals.


Director: Karim Didri, France 2003, 105 min.

Two people brought together by fate are torn apart by their cultural and familial differences in this romantic drama. Raphael Ramirez is a first generation Frenchman whose parents emigrated there from Spain. Formerly a boxer, Raphael turned his back on pugilism and has gone into auto repair, though both Raphael and his brother, Manu, both have a keen interest in the local Thai boxing scene. Raphael was once close friends with Tony Tran, the son of a successful local businessman who settled in France after leaving his home in Vietnam. However, Tony and Raphael have become wary of one another, and the tension between the two increases when Tony announces he wants to buy Raphael's garage. The simmering anger becomes explosive when Raphael meets Chinh, a shy but beautiful girl of Cambodian heritage who is pledged to marry Tony. Raphael falls head over heels in love with Chinh, and is determined to wed her, whatever the cost.

Human Zoo

Director: Rie Rasmussen, France 2008, 110 min.

Adria is half Serbian and half Albanian and is now living in France as an illegal immigrant – an existence that turns out to be no less precarious. During the course of the film Adria finds herself confronted with horrific atrocities. The young woman has to stand the test of many unarmed conflicts; but there also tender, loving moments in a life that only has the appearance of being without bars. This is a world in which Belgrade’s bombs and Europe’s underworld play just as much of a role as spontaneous desire, which might give rise to genuine love. A ‘product of the imaginary borders of now meaningless states’, Adria is searching for spiritual equilibrium. She is also trying to discover her identity as a woman and a human being. At the same time she is being held prisoner and trained in a violent, predominantly male-run zoo. It’s not her game – but she’s learning fast.

La Haine - The Hate

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz, France 1995, 95 min.

The film follows three young men and their time spent in the French suburban "ghetto," over a span of twenty-four hours. Vinz, a Jew, Saïd, an Arab, and Hubert, a black boxer, have grown up in these French suburbs where high levels of diversity coupled with the racist and oppressive police force have raised tensions to a critical breaking point. During the riots that took place a night before, a police officer lost his handgun in the ensuing madness, only to leave it for Vinz to find. Now, with a newfound means to gain the respect he deserves, Vinz vows to kill a cop if his friend Abdel dies in the hospital, due the beating he received while in police custody. The film refers to events in 1995, when a young Zairan is shot dead by police officers during a questioning. Original video scenes are integrated into the film at the beginning.

Le Thé au Harem d'Archimède - Tea in the Harem

Director: Mehdi Charef, France 1985, 110 min.

Based on the novel of the same name, the film deals with the life of two friends living the banlieus of Paris. One of the first films dealing with young migrants trying to develop a life facing intolerance and prejudices. Even though more than 20 years old, with current events in France the films remains up to date.

Mémoires d'immigrés, l'héritage maghrébin

Director: Yamima Benguigui, France 1997, 160 min., French with English subtitles

In simple words, sometimes with a strong accent, sometimes in perfect French, North-African people describe their daily life at the time France had not enough workers for the industry and took on hands in North-African countries. Firstly the men, who arrived first and alone. Then the women, who were allowed to follow their men a few years later. Finally the children, most of them born in France.

 Victimes de nos richesses (Victims of Our Riches)

Director: Kal Touré, France/ Mali 2008, 60 min.

Poverty is merely the result of a historical process, not the genetic status of Africans or some metaphysical condition we have been saddled with. With this statement begins an award-winning picture which examines African migration to Europe from a variety of angles. By contrast director Kal Touré, himself a Malian, keeps asking about ways of solving the desperate economic situation. He speaks to African intellectuals and European economists, participants in social forums, politicians and ordinary farmers. Along with the testimonies of returned migrants and intimate views of everyday life in Mali, this collage of opinion presents an interesting look at one of the most pressing problems of our age.

Welcome Europa

Director : Bruno Ulmer, France 2006, 90 min.

A haunting documentary that depicts the portrait of ten young immigrants, accompanied by Bruno Ulmer throughout several months in different European countries. Arriving from Romania, Morocco, Turkey, they were pushed by the hope for a better life. But in longed for Europe they find themselves struggling for bare survival, without documents and working permits, discovering soon that no place is left for illusions. While portraying the intimate, daily struggle to conserve their dignity in a merciless environment, the film reflects the bitter outgrowths of the Schengen agreement and the contradictions of wealthy Europe.