Eléonore Boissinot, F, 2023, 76'
WORLD Premiere
Thu. 10.8.2022, 11h00, La Sala
Fri. 11.8.2022, 9h00, Palacinema 1

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In 2002, Gandhi’s home region, Gujarat State (western India, bordering Pakistan), experienced a series of riots against Muslim populations, who were accused of burning a train in which 59 Hindu pilgrims perished. The three-month riots caused the death of 800 to 2,000 Muslims. The government and state police were later accused of preventing investigations and taking inadequate measures to protect the civilians against the violence perpetrated by Hindu nationalist groups. Following these events, 140,000 to 200,000 Muslims reportedly left their homes, taking the stigma of these massacres with them.

Sofia and Suzain do not remember this tragic episode. The two sisters were too young when their family narrowly escaped the rioters. They have been raised by their father in a modest flat since their mother’s departure. Although they would like to experience their adolescence fully and enjoy life, they find themselves confronted with their father’s protective instinct, fuelled by the trauma of 2002. Eléonore Boissinot, who is very close to her characters, subtly captures the way Sofia and Suzain's hopes and innocence clash with reality. The director crafts the complexity of these family ties marked by tragedy and the legacy of the past into a moving story of resilience that is never entirely attained.

Thomas Gerber