Atelier de conversation

Thirteen men and women are sitting in a circle on the red plastic chairs of a closed learning space
at the Pompidou Centre library in Paris. What the group members have in common is their slow and fumbling manner of speaking French, as well as the will to understand more of it.

The expressions are shy and confused. The discussion is picking up slowly. The faces become more relaxed; people start debating and are able to laugh, too. The conversationalists come from Syria, Afghanistan, Turkish Kurd areas, Columbia, Nigeria and Japan. Some have been living in France for years while others have just arrived.

Bernhard Braunstein’s stripped-down film follows six sessions with the immigrants’ discussion group. The themes chosen for conversation are bold. Politics sneak into the discussion to heat up emotions. The question of love softens everyone’s eyes.

The library has a more and more important role in increasing the interaction between cultures. Where else would a Turkish judge converse as an equal with a Kurdish defector? Or a Christian challenge a Muslim about the significance of halal meat? Braunstein’s effective documentary witnesses true encounters.

Niina Holm / Translation: Marko Pyhähuhta

Language: French
Subtitles: English

  • Director: Bernhard Braunstein
  • Country: Austria, France, Liechtenstein
  • Year: 2017
  • Length: 72 min
  • Age limit: null
  • Cinematography: Adrien Lecouturier
  • Editing: Bernhard Braunstein
  • Music: Lucile Chaufour
  • Production: Bernhard Braunstein, Dominik Tschütscher / schaller08


  • Cinema Artis, hall 2 : Saturday, 02.02 - 19:30