CHANCE

2020 | docu-fiction | 75’ | vo AR st EN, FR, NL

Since 2017 Belgium has become a passageway for refugees who are fleeing both their homelands and the EU immigration policies.
They spend their nights trying to sneak into trucks parking along the highways, hoping to reach England the next day. They call these nocturnal attempts CHANCE.
A night of CHANCE, spent entirely in a truck, is the spatiotemporal frame for this docu-fiction: a black-box, cut from the outside world, inside which the protagonists, four young Sudanese, replay their quotidian reality.

Since 2017 Belgium has become a passageway for refugees who are fleeing both their homelands and the EU immigration policies.
They spend their nights trying to sneak into trucks parking along the highways, hoping to reach England the next day. They call these nocturnal attempts CHANCE.
A night of CHANCE, spent entirely in a truck, is the spatiotemporal frame for this docu-fiction: a black-box, cut from the outside world, inside which the protagonists, four young Sudanese, replay their quotidian reality.

Since October 2017 we have been hosting  migrants in transit  in our apartment in Brussels, as part of a citizens movement calling for a radical change in the current European migration policy, while in the meantime trying to fill up a critical lacune caused by this policy. These young and not so young men and women – Sudanese, Eritreans, Libyans, Iraqis, Yemenites and others, come to spend a night in safety, often stay for the weekend, many come back regularly, some become part of our family. We provide them a bed, a shower, an island of stability, a moment of normality and hopefully true friendship. This is how we met the four protagonists of the film, a meeting which has developed to a long and close relationship. When we proposed them to make this film they immediately accepted. The central place that the CHANCE occupied in their conversations, time-planning, social connections, in contrast to its complete invisibility to the society we were part of, led us to chose it as a frame for the film. It provided both the space and the time span, as well as the basic structure of the film.  But like in a real CHANCE, everything inside this frame stayed unknown. No script nor shooting breakdown was prepared. From the first “action” to the last “cut”, it was an improvisation. Improvisation was a way to assure that the protagonists would be the authors of their actions and their words.

Since October 2017 we have been hosting  migrants in transit  in our apartment in Brussels, as part of a citizens movement calling for a radical change in the current European migration policy, while in the meantime trying to fill up a critical lacune caused by this policy. These young and not so young men and women – Sudanese, Eritreans, Libyans, Iraqis, Yemenites and others, come to spend a night in safety, often stay for the weekend, many come back regularly, some become part of our family. We provide them a bed, a shower, an island of stability, a moment of normality and hopefully true friendship. This is how we met the four protagonists of the film, a meeting which has developed to a long and close relationship. When we proposed them to make this film they immediately accepted. The central place that the CHANCE occupied in their conversations, time-planning, social connections, in contrast to its complete invisibility to the society we were part of, led us to chose it as a frame for the film. It provided both the space and the time span, as well as the basic structure of the film.  But like in a real CHANCE, everything inside this frame stayed unknown. No script nor shooting breakdown was prepared. From the first “action” to the last “cut”, it was an improvisation. Improvisation was a way to assure that the protagonists would be the authors of their actions and their words.

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