The Shadow Workers

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The Shadow Workers

De schaduwwerkers
Annelein Pompe
Camera Lucida – Out of Competition 2021
Documentary Film
47 minutes
English, French, German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

A place in Ghent, watched by the flightless and garrulous pigeon Lukaku. Living in a particularly close relationship with its owner, Francesco D’Amico, he gains insights into the human grotesque. Director Annelein Pompe lets him talk, introduce us to the world of pigeon breeding and reveal the thoughts of a few persons who retain small, hidden refuges in the mundane daily business.

“I look behind things,” says Lukaku. Neck twisted so that he sees the world upside down, strange things are revealed. He guides us through a Flemish microcosm that tells of a honey shop as well as a kiosk. Usman, a Pakistani pigeon lover, works in the latter. He is his own boss, unlike the “Dutch good-for-nothing” of the honey shop who is harassed by surveillance cameras and must fear for his job. Annelein Pompe creates a modern fable that tells of people’s attachment to their ordinary existence – but also of those invisible moments when spirit and body drift apart, when dreams and poetry begin. Pompe intertwines this human talent for shadow work with the fascination for pigeons, which always return to their owners and yet live in freedom.
Carolin Weidner

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Annelein Pompe
Annelein Pompe
Pierre De Bellefroid
Ellen Meiresonne, Dany Deprez
Achilles Van Den Abeele, Annelein Pompe
Bart Hoevenaars
VAF Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds
Eric Pauwels