The People Behind the Scenes

2019, colour film, 77 min.
With the support of Roberto Cimetta Foundation,
University of East Anglia, École Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière

The Mediterranean Sea, year 2015. Media are pouring out the image of hundreds of migrants risking their lives for a better future. This image is not new, European history carries it within itself. To weave a link between today’s exiles and those of yesterday, this film gives a voice to the people of the Maltese archipelago. The director uses the experiences and memories of migration that haunt the Maltese people as well as the history of her own family to understand how a collective imagination is constructed. A genuine formal laboratory, The People Behind the Scenes creates a new way of saying exile. Showing no images of migrants, the film is based on the imprint left in people’s minds by the media repetition of the motifs of rubber boats, life jackets, survival blankets and the death of little Aylan Kurdi. By doing so, this documentary draws a new imaginary made of tragedies, hopes, and laughs which connect the two shores of the Mediterranean.

Cinematography: Martin Petrolff

Music: Victor Lisinski

Editing: Elsa Gomis with the support of Clémentine Vagne