Revision | Under the stairs of Paris – A reflection on the reality of refugees and homeless people in the French capital

Cities like Paris are regarded the world over as the capital of dreams: this is where many people want to go to visit, have their honeymoon, go sightseeing, study and even live. Yes, it is a dream of many people, but this heavenly place also has its less glamorous side, portrayed in many moments in the arts, like the famous play ‘Os Miseráveis’, by Victor Hugo. Nowadays, the problems of a cosmopolitan and iconic city like Paris revolve around the flow of immigration of individuals from other countries, creating a huge social impact. Offering a reflection on this theme, the French feature film ‘Under the stairs of Paris’ arrived in Brazilian theaters this week.

Christine (Chaterine Frot) is a homeless inhabitant who lives under one of the Parisian bridges thanks to the blindness of the local guard, who likes her. His life consists of surviving another day in the streets of Paris, between feeding in shelters and falling back to sleep under the bridge. Until his routine is shaken by the unexpected appearance of a boy at the door of the retirement where he lives. Although she tries to get away from him, Christine gradually realizes that the boy, named Suli (Mahamadou Yaffa) does not speak French, because he is an illegal immigrant whose mother has been separated. from him. Reluctantly, Christine begins to search the streets of Paris for the boy’s mother, all the while creating a bond of affection for him that she didn’t know she was able to feel again in her life.

For an hour and a half, the screenplay by Olivier Brunhes and Claus Drexel centers the story on two characters as different as they are curious: she, an older white woman, citizen of this country, whose past is unknown to the spectator – who s ‘questions how a woman with these characteristics became a street dweller; he, a boy of about eight years old, from some African country, without family, illegal, without speaking the local language and whose past is also unknown to the spectator, who left without knowing how or why he arrived in France. However, the story of “Sous les marches de Paris” is about the unlikely meeting of these two lives who walk together in a certain place and at a certain time, so the bottom is left to our imagination – and given the newspaper news, it is not difficult to fill with some elements of our reality.

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“Sous les marches de Paris” is a light drama, despite the theme, that makes you think without weighing your hand in shocking or violent situations, although it offers a panorama of how illegal immigrants find their spaces of survival. in the capital of love. Claus Drexel builds a film that aims to open the eyes of the viewer and portray the contemporaneity of modern Oliver Twists and the discredit that many professions have in this country. Against all expectations, it is a touching film, which disappoints the idea that in Europe everything works (still).

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