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Songs Next Door

Flavie Pinatel
France, 2017
Production : Periscope, Films de Force Majeure



As a portrait of a social housing project with astonishing shapes (La Maladrerie near Paris), Songs Next Door is a documentary of a different kind, since the protagonists express themselves through songs and not through speech. Implicitly, Flavie Pinatel describes poetically how people live together in France in 2016.

Avec le soutien de la Scam et le soutien du CNC-Images de la Culture

Tënk's film review

In Creole or Portuguese, alone or as a choir, slamming or belting it out – the inhabitants reveal something of themselves as they sing on what’s not a stage set but the social housing project they call home. The ululations of an old Berber woman answer the children hiding behind a fountain… But the laughter and beautiful hanging gardens don’t totally distract us from the cracked concrete, the graffitied walls and the solitude of some of the residents. How does one link up the individual and the collective? How does one make the trivial beautiful? In its very form, the film appropriates architect Renée Gailhoustet’s unique housing project; and when we see the abandoned shopping trolley encountering the waterlilies in a pool, we get a clearer understanding that the social utopia of La Maladrerie is first and foremost down to the rich diversity of its inhabitants. 

Éva Tourrent
Tënk's Artistic Director

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Flavie Pinatel

With a degree in Fine Arts, Flavie Pinatel now works as a director, director of photography and artist. She lives and works between Marseille and Aubervilliers. Her work has been screened at FIDMarseille, the Lyon Biennale, the BAL platform in Paris and Visions du Réel in Nyon. She teaches Fine Arts at the École Nationale d’Architecture de Paris La Villette. Her documentary “Ramallah” (2013) has so far been selected at more than twenty festivals.

Other films in the collection: Arts