In spite of appearances, marginalized people are essential elements for the functioning of our societies which, leaving aside the discourses on equal opportunities and the modern permeability of social status, remain exceptionally hierarchized. Undeniably, there could be no center without a marginal area, in relation to which the former defines itself by negation. It is therefore unsurprising that, together with racism, bigotry, conservatism, and individualism, the obscure desire to preserve social stratification constitutes itself an obstacle in the way of first accepting, and then integrating those left on the margins.
This year’s selection will mainly approach two categories of marginalized people. On the one hand, “Caterpillars” (directed by Elvis Sabin, Central African Republic) and “Far from You I Grew” (directed by Marie Dumora, France) presents dynamic and inventive characters – first of all because they manage to survive in a context which is constantly hostile towards them, by drawing on inexhaustible resources of ingenuity to get at least the breadcrumbs from the banquet of the powerful. On the other hand we have the disturbing and opaque world of people suffering from autism, where “None of Them Says a Word” (directed by Jacques Lin) and “A House” (directed by Judith Auffray, Switzerland) try to enter, to the extent possible. In their case, the social and genetic pedigree is the right one, yet they lack logic, pragmatism, ambition, money value awareness, and the resignation to the idea of a life devoid of playfulness and mystery – therefore, they have to be pushed to the margins as well. In all of the cases, the filmmakers set out to offer us a point of view which enables us to realize that the margin and the center are concepts which are fully dependent on the viewer’s position: it only takes one step sideways to embrace a whole other perspective.