France / 2011
64 min. / DCP / Original version with English subtitles
Steve, a 25-year-old Black man, has the courage to leave the Paris banlieue behind and to imagine a life beyond the path mapped out for him: He begins actor training at one of France's most prestigious schools. But the change of environment comes with many hurdles. Although he enjoys acting, Steve often feels he does not belong and is out of place. His frustration grows when he realizes that he is only offered stereotypical views as a Black man. His dream of portraying Danton in Büchner's play becomes a remote fantasy. From the same neighborhood, Alice Diop accompanies Steve for three years. In the end, she gives him a performance as Danton with a fiery speech about the thirst for freedom.
France / 2016
39 min. / DCP / Original version with English subtitles
When the subject is masculinity in the suburbs of Paris, it is rarely accompanied by love, sexuality, and tenderness. Alice Diop, however, interviewed four young men about their private feelings and then staged images to accompany their off-screen voices. In doing so, she unwraps a mix of tough macho facades, misogynistic stereotypes, resignation because of the expectations of others, loneliness, hidden desires, the difficulty of being gay in public as well as moments of tenderness.