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Bachar à la ZAD

Pierre Boulanger
France, 2020
Production : Topshot Films, 1000 Visages



Before agreeing to go there for a quick trip, Adil and Bilel had never heard of Notre-Dame des Landes, the contested area where protesters are trying to prevent an airport from being built. This pair from Grigny, a poor neighbourhood outside Paris, discover in this ZAD (Zone to Defend) a notion of living together that’s completely foreign to them, leading them to rethink their rapports with society and political activism.

Tënk's film review

Behind the deliberately provocative title lie two visions of the world that sometimes converge and sometimes clash, but are united by the same reality – the reality of every day being a struggle.
Adil’s and Bilel’s experience during the party to celebrate the abandoning of the airport project works as a support for the film’s political challenge. Its strength lies in its two-pronged approach: the first that lets us follow their discovery of the ZAD (Protest Zone), and the second that films them back home in their neighbourhood when they hear the news of the protesters’ expulsion. By dividing the narrative in this way, Pierre Boulanger avoids the pitfall of paternalism and shows that beyond the differences, a convergence exists that cannot be taken for granted but is something that has to be achieved with mutual respect.

Florian Cordier
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Pierre Boulanger

Other films in the collection: Present Times