“As soon as I heard about the Boats 4 People action, I asked to be on the boat to shoot a sequence of my film “La mécanique des flux” (“Flow mechanics”), a documentary about the European violent migration policy. But ultimately, thanks to the film “No Comment” we had shot in Calais, and given our well known attachement to migrants’ rights, Joël Labat and myself were asked by Boats 4 People to stay on board for the whole trip and film the entire action.
This sea voyage together with activists from different countries was particularly dense and rich, both to live and to shoot. Being on this boat heading for the other side, taking the migrants’ opposite route to express our revolt and our solidarity with them, gave everyone, deeply affected by Europe’s deadly and racist policy, the feeling of finally being in the right place, aligned with our path. Even if everyone on board knew that the road would still be long before Europe’s peoples and rulers change their perception of migration, even though we all know we are going against the dominant doxa in this period of economic crisis where the migrant is a scapegoat, everyone on this boat had the feeling of living an exceptional historic moment and the hope to trigger the beginning of a major international movement.
Even the most ephemeral presence of Italian activist Silvia Baraldini, who spent 23 years in prison for her commitment to the struggle for civil rights in the U.S. in the 70s, comforted us in this perspective. For Joel and I, it was very emotional to shoot the various commemorations at stops. A way to give back life and dignity to the more than 20,000 deaths listed for the last ten years, the price to pay for closing our borders. Invisible banalized deaths, which everyone would like to forget.
We were aware, shooting these commemorations, that without true memorial somewhere for these deaths, these images constituted a sort of filmic memorial. Twenty thousand young people, who died for having decided the freedom of movement, a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and sometimes so essential to save one’s life, dignity or his dream, would precede over national laws that violate it. Maybe one day, when migration, accelerated by climate change, will become one of the normal components of the new world, history will remember that this boat, this “ship of fools” from both sides of the Mediterranean and across Europe, David against Goliath, tried to stand up against what he’ll have to call it one day a crime against humanity.”
Nathalie Loubeyre, director