Grigris has lost the use of his left leg. Mimi is mixed-race. Two characters with two complexes: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun puts people on the edges of society at heart of his film in Competition, three years after Un Homme qui crie (A Screaming Man), which won the Jury Prize in 2010.
Film still © RR
When Grigris dances, all eyes are on him. People encourage and applaud him. They forget that he has a paralysed leg. In daily life, his leg is a handicap that draws sidelong glances. One day, Grigris's uncle falls ill. To save him, the young man starts working for some of Chad's increasingly numerous petrol traffickers.
"I like to start with documentary material and then journey into the imaginary, which is a place of questioning". Mahamat-Saleh Haroun was keen to look at the car chases between traffickers and customs men in N’Djamena. In 2011, he met Souleymane Démé, a dancer whose left leg was paralysed. His movements inspired the director: Grigris would bring together two worlds on the edges of society. "The edges of society are a place of adventure, of life in motion as it heads for the centre. Like the movement of rivers that head to the sea, not the other way around," explains Mahamet-Saleh Haroun.
Another character crosses Grigris's path. "Aren't you the one who dances in the bars?" Like many people, Mimi has already seen the showman: the night is also the world of this young prostitute who is never without her afro wig. Her occupation and origins make Mimi the bearer of two serious taboos in Chadian society, taboos that Mahamet-Saleh Haroun wants to break with style and realism.
Wednesday 22nd May / Grand Théâtre Lumière / 4.00 p.m.
Thursday 23rd May / Salle du Soixantième / 2.00 p.m.