In the dark margins

Another world

Wednesday August 5, at 10:45 p.m. on Arte

By itself, its title already says it all about Noël Dernesch’s film, which won the audience’s prize at the Munich Documentary Film Festival in 2019. It opens of course to another world, one of these parallel universes present in the collective imagination, shrouded in ‘a disturbing halo, which many would rather not see the reality of. They are five men, aged in their thirties, cultivating the same appearance: musculature to discourage any form of provocation, beard closely trimmed, shaved heads topped with a wave of hair, cap and hoodie. These “bad boys” indulge themselves without make-up on Noël Dernesch’s camera, which follows them in a resolutely masculine daily life – not a single woman crosses these images – in cars, at the barber or in shisha bars.

All of them come from an immigrant background, of Kurdish, Palestinian or Iranian origin, and are looking for their place in Germany. A country which saw them born and grow without ever integrating them. Confined to the margins, they once gave in to violence and easy money. They testify without shirking their individual responsibility. Younger, Sinan dreamed of being a police officer… before being imprisoned for armed robbery. Today, he plans to take over the management of a kiosk, with the declared will never to fall back into illegality. “The real jihad is the fight against yourself, explains this young Muslim. You have to take it upon yourself to become a good person. »

Kianush and Parham, too, have experienced prison and don’t want to go back. To make the statistics lie on a massive recidivism, they have found an outlet in rap and are trying to make a career. Another world neither accuses nor excuses anyone, and allows us to grasp the nuances of a complex reality, which concerns Germany but also France and Europe. A real food for thought for serious social issues.


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