75 minutes, 2019
Director : Nuno ESCUDEIRO (Portugal)
Production : Point du Jour (France), Miramonte Film (Italy)
For centuries the valleys of the Roya and the Durance, between Italy and France, belonged to one country or the other. Today it is through these valleys that refugees try to pass when they have been refused entrance at the border at Menton or Ventimiglia. Faced with their distress, some local people have decided to welcome them anyway, to protect them, to grant them “board and lodging”. But this gesture is both risky and illegal. Until now the law has stated that you have an obligation to help any person in danger, but today that is limited to helping only those who have their papers in order.
The people living in the valley decided to make their actions public, as an appeal for solidarity. But then the media descended, leading to a far greater police presence and yet more controls, which in turn endangers the refugees, the locals and their families.
This film tells some personal stories but also shows their collective actions. It follows ordinary men and women who, in the name of solidarity, are fighting to continue doing what they believe to be morally right.
Nuno ESCUDEIRO studied media at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, and documentary filmmaking at the Zelig School of Documentary Film in Bolzano, Italy. He works in different areas of the moving image, his works are shown in galleries and broadcast at film festivals. His experimental short dance films have been screened in several national and international film festivals. In 2012, he founded the PostmodernSquare group, which brings together eleven European organizations to collaborate on new projects which reinforce the use of art in different social contexts.
During his studies at the Zelig School of Documentary Film, he made two films: “Chronicles of Wind and Stillness” (2015) about border controls which prevent refugees from traveling from Italy into Austria and Germany, and “Moon Europa” (2016) on immigrants living in the countries of northern Europe. “The Valley” is his second feature-length documentary.