Role Plays

JEUX DE RÔLES

58 min, 2015, HD vidéo

 

 

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Direction, image, editing, JORDANE MAURS
Production, JORDANE MAURS, BASIA JANISCH

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« Role plays » is a biographical and autobiographical documentary essay on humanitarian aid during neo-colonial times. The filmmaker draws from her personal experience and interacts with Kevin and Bruno who start a career in humanitarian action with an internship in an NGO in Lomé, Togo.

Kevin is 20 years old and has spent 4 years in the French army as a “sonar operator”. Bruno is 22 years old and has just finished his civic service. The film was shot – before and after their stay in Togo – on the premises of their vocational training centre, the “Platform of integration through humanitarian aid” in Romans-sur-Isère, France.

The two of them form a strong tandem with some disagreements but a complicity and a close relationship which shows in the glances and gestures they exchange. Some sequences focus on their body language, others on their voices, edited on a black screen where parts of their words are transcribed.

Word play and body language intermingle in an occasionally abstract cinematographic discourse which doesn’t necessarily reveal the object of it’s research and where the viewer must find himself the keys to the material presented to him. The film gives a particular importance to sound and text, to the relation between the spoken and the written language, within a syncopated structure which allows space for silence with or without an image, where the spoken words can echo and rest in an empty and free space suitable for reinterpretation.

Starting with her personal history and background in humanitarian aid work in a prolog with discreet images of her 2005-2006 stay in Mali, the filmmaker also questions her family’s colonial past. Since the Haiti revolution in 1804 with her ancestor Charles Lefebvre Desnouettes until the present days with one of her cousins living in Haiti and working for Doctors without Borders, we understand that continuity and repetition of certain patterns or paths do not result by chance and that neo-colonial aspects of humanitarian aid work are but one aspect among many others in this globalized world.

 

Jeux de rôles was presented at Scriptings (Berlin, Achim Lengerer) from July to September 2016, in the Faculté des Sciences Humaines et Sociales of Tunis, in the FilmArche (Berlin) and in the Plateforme d’Insertion Humanitaire (France) where the film was shot.

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