They have been friends for nearly twenty years and stand together to better assume the mission they have set for themselves: to welcome young autistic people called "complex cases", because they found zero place go elsewhere. Stéphane Benhamou and Daoud Tatou are the real heroes of the film "Hors Norms", directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.
These two associative directors, who are well known in Saint-Denis, have directly inspired the characters of Bruno (Vincent Cassel) and Malik (Reda Kateb) that the general public will discover from Wednesday on the big screen. They also advised the film crew, and some of their employees play their own role on the screen.
Welcoming young people without solution
The directors of "Untouchables" depict, with humor and emotion, the daily struggle of these associations that welcome children and young adults with autistic disorders. The main character, Bruno, hand taped by hand, spins urgent emergency.
Bruno is Stéphane Benhamou, founder of the association "The Silence of the Righteous". The day of our meeting, he is not there, just snapped up by "an emergency". On the phone, he recounts his "meeting with autism in 1992": director of a training organization, his path crossed that of a teenager that his parents were trying to send to summer camp. From one thread to another, he created the association The Silence of the Righteous – which became "The Voice of the Righteous" in the film.
Assailed by requests, the structure quickly grew up in Paris and in the 93. To welcome urgently these young people without solution, placed by judges, sent by doctors, she had to act without waiting for all the administrative authorizations. "But we never did in DIY, we have never been outlawed! ", Points out Stéphane Benhamou.
New day reception in Saint-Denis
In Saint-Denis, the Silence of the Righteous has a day center and therapeutic apartments in the city center. Its presence on the territory will be strengthened with a new day reception, on 400 m2, in the Confluence district. "Good news for the department," he says. It will be a walk-in structure, perfectly adapted. And if the public authorities give us the means, we can build another unit. "
The Silence of the Righteous now welcomes 87 children and adults from the Paris region, 55 of whom are housed "24 hours a day". A drop of water, precious but tenuous, faced with the vastness of needs in Ile-de-France – "characterized by the lowest rate of regional equipment of the metropolis" according to the Igas – and even more in the Seine -St Denis. "The less well endowed department," testify in chorus Stéphane Benhamou and Daoud Tatou.
He has lived in Saint-Denis for twenty years. Her association, Le Relais Ile-de-France, is based in Paris, where she also welcomes young people with autism. But she is very active in Saint-Denis, where she comes in particular to train the animators of the leisure centers.
"They are real heroes"
Since its inception, she hired, to train, "young people from poor neighborhoods". "They start internships, and graduate, either as a monitor-educator or as a medico-psychological help," said the forty-year-old.
He himself started, as a young man, "by animating rap workshops" in a reception center. "I started working at the Adam Shelton Institute for Medical Education in Saint-Denis. I brought a friend from my neighborhood, who himself brought another friend … It's the word of mouth that allows us to recruit. From this point of view, Saint-Denis and the 93 are a huge pool, with young people who can be sensitive to disability and training. "
In Saint-Denis, we salute the action of the two associations. "I know especially Daoud Tatou, very invested in the city, notes Raphaële Serreau, deputy mayor in charge of the handicap. They are real heroes, we can only praise their work. "
This is not the subject of the film, but it is necessarily noted. Bruno is Jewish, Malik Muslim, and in their associations are crossed men and women of all faiths. Fiction faithfully reflects reality. "We have often been asked: How can a Jew and a Muslim work together? But we, we never asked the question ", says Daoud Tatou, adding with mischief:" Finally, secularism, that's it. We are the most religious of the religious. "
For Stéphane Benhamou, the film reflects "a reality more important than it says in France": "We talk about the slightest incident that can occur. But the reality is that if there is a war between Jews and Muslims in Saint-Denis, well I'm not aware. "