The project brought together the work of established and less well-known filmmakers in a compelling and varied exploration of city life, both lived and imagined. While the bleak and hard-hitting ‘La Haine’ (Mathieu Kassowitz, France, 1995) cracked open Paris as a city of ethnic conflict, the dreamily romantic ‘Touki Bouki’ (Djibril Diop Mambety, Senegal, 1973) suggested Paris as a promised land, the desired destination for a young couple eager to leave their impoverished homeland.
Mixed-race relationships in the contemporary European city were the theme of the ultimately upbeat ‘Everything will be fine’ (Angelina Mauritania, 1997), set in Russia and depicting a doomed love affair.
The programme also included the Ragga-to-riches adventure ‘Babymother’ (Julian Henriques, UK, 1998) and an exposé of the exploitation of immigrant labour in ‘La Promesse’ (Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne Bel, Belgium, 1996). Take Away Productions, a unique East End-based company of young Asian filmmakers, writers and producers showcased their work in a programme of shorts.
Other shorts including Lisl Ponger’s film ‘Passagen’ (Austria, 1996) and Maureen Blackwood’s poetic ‘Home away from home’ (London, 1993), focused on personal encounters ranging from intimate and domestic to fleeting and transient.