Whilst interviewing Director Alice Diop at this year’s London Film Festival I could feel passion emanating from her as she spoke of her new project On Call – a film which seeks to put names and faces to the asylum seekers suffering a life of loneliness and fear as they live in exile in Paris. Sneaking behind the curtain of their one on one consultations with doctors and psychiatrists who go far beyond the obligations of their roles, this documentary highlights those who attempt to help people find their footing in world where they have become purely a statistic.
On Call (La Permanence) (2016)
The consulting service is located in the Avicenne Hospital in Bobigny. It’s an outpost at the end of a corridor. A large room where sick men show up, bearing physical scars, and whose pain seems closely linked to the suffering of exile. They keep coming back here because they still harbor hopes that this place will give them the means to stay afloat, to survive the turmoil of their lives hitting rock bottom.
It is political because it looks people in the eyes; this is a way to understand the violence and the difficulty the migrants have been through.