Boubou has turned his room in a migrant workers’ hostel in Saint-Denis into a haven of sociability, mutual aid and struggle.
Every time I visit him, I revisit this atmosphere of solidarity and shared lives that I have known since my childhood.
But Boubou is growing tired, his work as a delegate for the residents is weighing on him, his administrative and family worries are not easing up… Boubou dreams of another life.
The taste of grilled corn always takes me back to the migrants’ hostel: it is the taste of my childhood.
When I visit Boubou, we share a glass of tea or a rice dish with his brothers and friends.
We talk about work, exchange news about the home country and fight for the rights of the residents.
Boubou has managed to make his room a haven of peace in a society that makes life hard for migrants.
But fatigue is setting in. If Boubou gives up, who will keep this space of solidarity alive ?
Will the migrant homes of my childhood disappear forever?
Having studied anthropology and sociology, Adeline Gonin has been working for years with residents of migrant workers’ hostels. In 2009, she created the “Hostels Film Festival” (« Cinéma des Foyers ») together with the cultural association Attention Chantier, of which she is a co-founder. In 2011, after releasing her first self-produced short film, she worked with the Ateliers Varan Film School where she directed Papa Ben (14’) a documentary portrait of a Parisian ragpicker. The film was screened at the 2012 FIFE International Film Festival. In 2014, she completed her first major film, Barakeden, the little house maids of Bamako (57′). Distributed by L’Echangeur, the film was selected by 40 Film festivals, bought by 2 international distributors and has seen one theatrical screening in Bamako as well as a national film tour in Mali. Today, Adeline continues to lead video workshops in the Ile-de-France region: schools, hostels, prisons… In 2015, she started to develop the documentary project In Boubou’s room, her first feature-length film.
# Cue sheet
Length : 01H27M14S (01’27’14’00’)
Shooting format : FHD Color 16/9 – 2.0 & 5.1
Dialogues : French, Soninke
Versions : French, English
Direction : Adeline Gonin
Photography : Adeline Gonin
Sound : Manuel Vidal, Sylvain Buffet
Music : Grégoire Paultre
Editing : Virginie Véricourt
Sound design : Manuel Vidal
Translation : Camara Bandiougou
Production : Julien Fiorentino
• Scriptwriting Training Residence, supported by Île-de-France Region
in partnership with the National Museum of Immigration History
in Villa Belleville 2017
• « Rencontres d’août », Etats généraux documentary film festival, Lussas 2016
• « Résidence d’écriture », Documentary Film School, Ardèche Images 2015
A documentary film produced by L’Echangeur
in coproduction with Vià93
with the participation of TV5 Monde, CNC, City of Saint-Denis
with the support of Procirep-Angoa, IDF Region, SCAM, SACEM
News about the film are HERE (facebook, mainly in french)
La Chambre de Boubou © L’Echangeur