Bagnolet, on the outskirts of Paris. Two impressive building stand out against the sky: Les Mercuriales, twin towers constructed amid the streets, suffocated flowerbeds and low rent housing. In this metropolitan non-place, the stories of three tweny-year-olds interweave: a colored guard on her first night on the job, and two hostesses, one French, the other Moldavian, who become friends.
Virgil Vernier (Paris, France, 1976), after studying philosophy and art, debuted in film in 2001 with the short Karine, an experiment in fiction and documentaries about the life of three young people in the Parisian suburbs. It was followed in 2004 by L’oiseau d’or, an adaptation of the homonymous fairytale by the Grimm brothers. Between 2006 and 2009 he and Ilan Klipper dedicated themselves to the diptych Flics, composed of Simulation and Commissariat, which describes the world of the French police. Later, continuing in the documentary vein, he directed Autoproduction (2008), presented at Visions du réel, Thermidore (2009), selected for the Quinzaine des réalisateurs in Cannes, and Orléans (2012), which competed in Locarno in the section Cineasti del presente. Mercuriales (2014) was made with the support of Torino Film Lab, among others.
Karine (cm, doc., 2001), L’oiseau d’or (cm, doc., 2004), Simulation (coregia/codirector Ilan Klipper, doc., 2006), Chroniques de 2005 (doc., 2007), Commissariat (coregia/codirector Ilan Klipper, doc., 2007), Autoproduction (doc., 2008), Thermidore (cm, doc., 2009), Pandore (cm, doc., 2010), Orléans (mm, doc., 2012), Mercuriales (doc, 2014).
“With this film, I want to show the strange beauty of suburban landscapes, abandoned places with their towers erected skyward like totem poles to 20th century ideology, neon lights shining in the night like starry constellations, towns with unexplored zones, mysterious dead-end streets and paths leading to nowhere, walls covered with bright colors – graffiti, frescoes, rainbows – as though to mask the misery and anonymity underneath, streets where lonely hearts and misfits roam, where hatred prowls, hatred born from misery, frustration and resentment, where individuals feel crushed by the endless uniformity, driving one to madness and violence.”
Mariette Desert, Virgil Vernier
Julien Sicart, Simon Apostolou
Ana Neborac, Philippine Stindel, Jad Solesme, Annabelle Lengronne, Sadio Niakate
Kazan Productions, ARTE France Cinema