Being fascinated by borders and the way people try to define themselves by underlining differences with the other, I ended up in Ireland. An open, welcoming and seemingly optimistic culture, that has been going through a dark history of deep conflict, which is hard to imagine while meeting the ever friendly and easy-going Irish people.
A border connects and separates at the same time. Nowhere else this contradictory feeling is coming more to the surface than on the Isle of Ireland. The Irish and Northern-Irish people represent to me much more than the remains of an old conflict on land and religion. I got fascinated by how actual social fears and dissatisfaction force people to re-interpret history, revitalize their culture, religion, and identity. A universal example of the well-known statement “Make our own country great again”, while we get rid of large and impervious unions telling us where we belong.
In that sense, all over the world, the concept of borders and especially re-defining and protecting them, has become a hot topic again. We stand together against what’s coming from outside. We see and hear ‘the other’ less and less. Simple black and white analyses are easier to digest than trying to find nuance in the grey zone.
In this film, I dive into that grey zone, because good and elaborated stories are very rare in regular media. The emphasis is mostly on short, fast and spectacular, which rarely offers depth, narrative development and durable wonder. The main target is the instant effect. That’s why I have chosen creative documentary as my ideal field of storytelling. I like to surprise my audience, show the other, hidden side of universal topics in a creative but democratic way, by showing stories based on real people’s lives. I always take my time to develop stories and characters, to create an emotional link between subject and spectator, between my and your reality.
This film is not the next journalistic attempt to analyse or depict Brexit, but a universal and sustainable portrait of a moment in history where people are requested to think about their identity, who they are, where they come from, and what side of the camp they chose. The crisis we face now is not the last and certainly not the first. Somehow history keeps on repeating itself and the lessons of our mistakes seem to get lost somewhere along the way. My film offers a different portrait of the fragility and relativity of mankind, in an attempt to find their place in the very short time they are here.