Kalès

  • Laurent Van Lancker
  • Belgium
  • 2017
  • 63 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

The only direct commentary by filmmaker Laurent Van Lancker on what he spent a year documenting is the opening quote, from Dante's Inferno: "So bitter it is, that death is little worse." From then on, the camera speaks in dark shots filmed in the refugee camp close to Calais, which people now refer to as "The Jungle." As the wind from the sea repeatedly rips the flimsy tents made of garbage bags to shreds, the camp’s inhabitants attempt to justify their existence. Using the very few resources available, they organize themselves as best they can into a basic society: cooking, trading, making music, celebrating birthdays and just getting through the day until the long night falls. The absence of commentary is a blessing—the images alone say so much. The poetry comes from the refugees themselves: "I dreamed that I could cross over to England in a hot-air balloon, everything was ready. But then I woke up in the Calais jungle." 

Credits

  • 63 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic, Pashto, English
  • Subtitles in: English
Director
Laurent Van Lancker
Production
Ellen Meiresonne for Polymorfilms
Cinematography
Anna Savchenko, Laurent Van Lancker, Khalid Mansour, Guillaume Vandenberghe
Editing
Rudi Maerten, Laurent Van Lancker
Sound
Aurélien Lebourg, Anna Savchenko

IDFA history

2017
World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

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IDFA history

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