Programmed by Caroline Châtelet
Régis Sauder returns to the house where he grew up in Forbach. Thirty years ago, he fled this town to rebuild his life, away from the violence, ashamed of his background. Between the demons of extremism and social determinism, how do the people who stayed there now live? Together, they weave their individual and collective memories to contemplate the future at a time when fear seems greater than ever.
In 2009, “Retour à Reims” was published, an essay somewhere between autobiography and critical theory in which the sociologist Didier Eribon examines his family’s radical shift to the far right and his position as a class traitor. Echoing this approach, Régis Sauder returns to Forbach, his hometown. The director looks up his old friends and acquaintances and takes the pulse of this former coal mining town in Lorraine, north-eastern France. From the 2014 European elections to France’s presidential elections in 2017, the documentary switches between dialogue in front of the camera and still frames where we see desertification in progress, between portraits of the inhabitants and the sale of the director’s parents’ house. The personal joins with the collective, and, along with the concerns about the rise of the far right, from the whole emerges the hope that “everything’s still possible here”.
Journalist and critic