THE MORNING LIST
This week, waterfall dives. In deep Russia, in Togliatti, the town of the Ladas, today one of the poorest in the country, and in the footsteps of fixers, those anonymous people without whom war reporters could not work. Diving also in the Bay of Bengal, to the “prison island” where tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees are parked by Bangladesh. Dive “backstage” again in Netflix’s tele-hook devoted to the “New School” of rap. Tasty dive then in the kitchens of the monasteries where a sacred cuisine is simmered! Finally, a vibrant dive with sixteen young people who tell how they experience the separation of their parents, with their words of children who speak “cash”.
A Russian youth in controlled skid
How to live in such a setting, the Russian version of a dormant Detroit, when you are 20 years old and your life to build? For her first documentary feature, the Catalan Laura Sistero immersed herself for a year, between winter 2018 and the end of 2019, in the daily life of Misha, Slava and Lera, three young people from Togliatti. A sad symbol of Russia, this city which was the pride of the Soviet Union, with its giant car factory producing Ladas, and which today has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country. The three friends, two boys and a girl, try to imagine a future elsewhere.
Misha, a brilliant student in mechanics, after an internship in France, dreams of working in Switzerland. Will Slava be able to avoid the army, a prospect that anguishes him day after day, as proven by his attempts to get himself discharged? Lera, the daughter of the gang, works in a small sandwich shop while waiting to finish her studies in human resources. Every day, she talks on the phone with her boyfriend who is in the army, hundreds of kilometers from Togliatti. On the banks of the Volga, 1,000 kilometers southeast of Moscow, there was once work for everyone. Comfortable apartments. Schools, cultural activities. AvtoVAZ, a gigantic car factory, the largest in the USSR, inaugurated in 1966, was running at full speed. But that was before. The car, a historical symbol, has become a new cult object on frozen lakes, industrial wastelands, parking lots, for young adults who are fans of “drift”, a sliding technique as mastered as it is spectacular. Their parents earned their living at the car factory, they drive these Ladas from another time with joyful pleasure. Rodeo on the Volga. Alain Constant
From Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Congo, Mexico, seven fixers emerge from the shadows
Meeting a member of the drug cartel in Mexico, a colonel who enlists child soldiers in the Congo, Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan… How would journalists (or filmmakers) do in conflict zones without the fixers – of the English “to fix”: “to settle, solve, arrange problems”? These local intermediaries, who master the terrain and the language, serve as translator, steward, compass… And are too often left behind when foreign troops withdraw from the country. “Fixer, the eyes and ears of the reporter”, sums up a podcast on France Culture.
Charles Villa, war reporter for Brut, pays tribute to seven of them – six men and one woman – without whom he could not work. With very different motivations and backgrounds, they have one thing in common: fear. “Many lost their lives, a leg, an arm, recalls Sabiti, a young Congolese who has worked for Charles Villa since November 2020. Kivu is the most dangerous area in the world. Here, the best journalist on earth, without a fixer, he does nothing. In Ukraine, Sasha, a former television editor, became a fixer somewhat by force of circumstance. She still smiles at her rookie mistakes – like putting on an orange sweater, too visible to the enemy. Hussain, in Afghanistan, appears closed, almost terrified. At 35, he has only known war and, with his family, he now wants to do everything to leave the country. The Syrian Aref is behind an eloquent interview with ISIS soldiers in Hassaké prison in 2021. Miguel knows Culiacan, his hometown, capital of the state of Sinaloa in Mexico ( cradle of drug traffickers). Their epic serves as a red thread for the documentary. If remuneration, not mentioned here, is certainly one of their motivations, Charles Villa ensures that political and civic engagement predominates among his fixers. Catherine Pacary
The horizonless life of Burmese Muslim refugees
For the first time, a Western TV crew was able to travel to Bhasan Char, nicknamed “Prison Island”, in Bangladesh, where Muslims fleeing the near-genocide carried out by the junta in their country, Burma, are kept . The aerial images are striking: a horizon of identical barracks that inevitably evokes a detention camp. The report by Mathilde Cusin and Alban Alvarez (Babel Doc) shows their living conditions in Bhasan Char, which, in addition to its prison character, is vulnerable to cyclones. The refugees have built their own bamboo houses, precarious habitats subjected to torrential monsoon rains and the risk of fire.
Located four hours away, in the middle of the Bay of Bengal, this military base already has 23,000 Rohingya. Dhaka hopes to transport 100,000 in total, to relieve Cox’s Bazar, a port city in southeastern Bangladesh, on the Burmese border, which has become the largest refugee camp in the world, where more than 1 million nationals of this country are crammed together. Muslim minority victim in 2016 and 2017 of terrible persecution. And where is the law of gangs. A life of stateless people without a horizon for the approximately 740,000 Rohingya who have taken refuge in Bangladesh. Mounir, settled for thirteen months with his wife and their three children born on the island, wonders if he did well to leave Cox’s Bazar. “We don’t know how long we will stay here. Bangladesh will take us where it chooses. The government does not want to allow refugees the freedom to come and go, to mingle with the country’s population, “otherwise they will be reluctant to return home.” For the time being, negotiations with the United Nations, UNHCR and other countries that can ease the “burden” have stalled. Sophie Landrin
Between freestyles and battles, a tele-hook on rap
“Are you giving him 100k? “, rapper Shay asks her colleague Niska, speaking of the young man who has just rapped in front of her. In a tight dress, sitting between the Marseillais SCH and the Parisian Niska, Shay is the caustic juror of the Netflix series, Nouvelle Ecole. At stake, for the winner, 100,000 euros. The “100 k” coveted by the twenty-five candidates of this tele-hook devoted solely to rap. “A Hollywood budget,” says SCH. This is not the first time that rap actors have participated in this kind of show to “find the new nugget”. This is the first time that the well-established and hackneyed format of tele-hook is totally devoted to rap. The three jurors are stars of French-speaking rap, in Paris, Marseille and Brussels. They are looking for “determined” young rappers, as they say (meaning “determined”), who will know how to overcome their stress, have “attitude”, because, says Niska, “rapping well is no longer enough”. The concept could quickly go round in circles, but the young rappers in competition save the program with their freshness, their rage to win these famous “100 k”. For STLR, 25, going back “pulling pallets, carrying crates of tomatoes” is out of the question. It’s not shot like 8 Mile (2002), Curtis Hanson’s film about American rapper Eminem, but the point remains the same. Stephanie Binet
From one office to another
One could not swear that all the monasteries of France have a culinary excellence such as one can find it in the congregations selected by François Lespés for the episodes of La Cuisine des monasteries, the monthly program that he created and produces for the Catholic channel KTO (available on its website and associated YouTube channel). But heck – dare we say – the fare looks good there!
From potatoes stuffed with cheese, walnuts, eggs and cream, from Brother Hervé-Marie, to kig ha farz, the Finistère stew, from Brother François-Xavier, from Friands to Camembert from Brother Laurent with panade of Sister Marie-France, it is generally restorative menus that are offered, available each time as a starter, main course and dessert. Occasionally, a fish or a vegetarian menu will lighten the caloric load a little, but it should not be forgotten that many nuns and monks work outdoors, especially in the vegetable garden, which sometimes provides them with fruit and vegetables. Each cook explains his recipe and, while simmering, recounts his spiritual journey. It’s often cheerful and always strongly aperitif! Renaud Machart
The separation of parents with children’s words
“My dad says a couple is an equation with two unknowns. “Ah, the words of children… Often funny, but not always. Sixteen children of separated parents express themselves “cash” in front of the benevolent camera of Mohamed El Khatib, in a documentary made from a play for young people in 2019, La Dispute. The 42-year-old playwright and director, who himself saw his parents separate when he was 8, went to elementary schools to collect testimonies. He grouped them as one prepares a presentation with his students, by themes, written in chalk on an imaginary board: “The disputes”, “The announcement”, “The alternation”, “The in-laws”… Until to children’s “advice” to their parents – from “Don’t give up, it happens…” to “None!” Let them manage. »
Implicitly, the viewer finds that there is no longer a barrier between the privacy of parents and their children. Interpretations vary according to the nature of each. There is the optimist: “It was friendly arguments, like Asterix and Obelix: in the end, they always reconcile. The budding psychoanalyst, who repeats what she has heard: “It’s always my mother who holds incomprehensible diagrams. Others don’t want to believe it: “My parents aren’t separated, dad is just on a business trip.” Interspersed between the interviews are a few excerpts from the play La Dispute at Espace Cardin, taken against the backdrop of multicolored Legos and giant Playmobils. The audience laughs out loud. While parents generally think that their children do not blame them, Eloria’s mother finds it great that Mohamed El Khatib is directing this play and this film. Because, for the first time, someone is looking positively at what their daughter Eloria has been through. And his fifteen little comrades, Solal, Amélie, Aaron, Camille, Maëlla, Imran, Ihsen, Ninon, Malik, Abel and Abel, Jeanette, Brune, Swann and Anne. C.Pa.