The RER B is an urban train that traverses Paris and its environs from north to south. A moving testament to the importance of filming as a process of bearing witness and remembering, We is subtle and shrewd in a world which favours shortcuts and easy answers. Justifiably adopting the fragmented structure of a patchwork portrait in order to describe a riven society, Diop displays impressive control of her essay and its impact. In the film’s first few minutes, a deer is observed, through binoculars. Isolation, discrimination and nostalgia for hierarchies, inherited from a monarchical past… Divisions haunt France’s present. But the human urge to give as well as to receive stubbornly creeps into every situation, observed or triggered. Could this be the one thing that still keeps a nation together?
Alice Diop, born 1979 in Aulnay-sous-Bois, France is a director of Senegalese descent with a Masters in history and a Doctorate in visual sociology. She studied documentary filmmaking at La Femis in Paris and has written and directed several documentaries. In 2011, Alice Diop's feature documentary Danton’s Death won the Library Award at the Cinéma du Réel Festival as well as the Etoile de la Scam 2012 Award. Her 2020 documentary, Nous, won the Encounters Award at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival. And her first narrative feature, Saint Omer (2022) won the Silver Lion Grand Jury prize along with the Luigi De Laurentiis Lion of the Future award and was Oscar Shortlisted for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards.
This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française with additional support provided by the Albertine Cinémathèque.