Film Archive

Night's Drifters

Documentary Film
45 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Paul Costes
Alexandra Mélot
Bijan Anquetil
News coming out of the darkness of night is like a journey into another reality, which is why the good citizen, effortlessly ignoring the brothers and sisters pushed into the shadow during the day, prefers to draw the curtains at night to protect himself from the worlds of refugees, migrants, the fragile survival economies of the invisible people. But the Iranian-French director Bijan Anquetil carries us off into a different kind of night. It works like developer in an analogue photo lab, slowly bringing faces, fates, longings and defeats out of invisibility. Under a bridge in a Paris industrial district Anquetil meets Sodan and Hamid, two illegal immigrants from Afghanistan. An improvised campfire, a forlorn moon in the sky, but no trace of fatigue or anger. Instead Anquetil’s night is filled with hunger for life, laughter, plans and an endless supply of stories. The short films Hamid recorded on his mobile phone during their long march into the promised land disrupt the darkness of their camp like the light from a torch, illuminating the refugee lorries in the Greek port of Patras, a burning refugee camp or protesters demanding asylum – brief flashbacks which also chronicle the time lost in waiting. And this is the real problem of these passengers of the night: they have reached their goal without ever really having arrived and are therefore no longer masters of their own time.

Matthias Heeder

Honorary Mention in the International Short Documentary Competition 2012