Programmed by Olivia Cooper Hadjian
In an ordinary suburb, away from the French capital, another world peeks from the fringes of this one, a world of djinns belonging to the night, connected to a distant origin.
Jinns, these malicious spirits from the Islamic tradition, mainly show themselves after nightfall. The different people gathered together by Souad Kettani have experienced them : one has heard them in the Senegalese bush, another in her kitchen, yet another was possessed by one… Whether or not these demons exist, one thing is certain: the memories are very much alive. The stories attest to the different uses of beliefs: as tools for social control or ramparts against madness. Qui est là? reveals in all lucidity the way in which one culture comes to the rescue of another: a sura in Arabic brings the protection that was lacking, a reference from a Hollywood film helps to describe a supernatural experience more effectively. And when you are unable to find a job, the jinns provide a more acceptable explanation than the fact that a formerly colonial country greedy for foreign manpower deprives so many of its nationals of a decent life. The shots depicting the architecture of a town in suburban Paris where the different witnesses reside reinforce the bitterness of this observation: the desolation of the places inevitably appears as a void to be filled. The jinns then become the synecdoche of the survival of an exogenous cultural heritage among the immigrants and their descendants. A heritage that can stigmatise, but also serve as refuge: in a society inclined to segregation, the jinns are the link between here and over there.