Les Unwanted de Europa

Fabrizio Ferraro
Italy, Spain 2017
112 min

Some historical films are made with the present in mind. Fabrizio Ferraro’s introspective black-and-white feature is one of them. The escape through war-torn France of German Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin met with bewildering bad luck: The Pyrenees border with Spain, where Benjamin tried to cross, was suddenly closed. Benjamin took arsenic, not knowing that the border would reopen the following day. He had left behind his suitcase, said to contain his last treatise, which was never recovered. Such are the facts behind Ferraro’s quiet, inwardly intense film, which takes us through the South-Eastern Pyrenees trail. A retracing in a Sebaldian sense, the film is free of traditional action or narrative arc. What remains, captured in beautifully controlled follow shots, is the endless walk, and the mournful absence – the mountains can’t speak, if they did, they would have told of massive waves of recent refugees, whose fate has been as tragic. Benjamin bequeathed us the figure of Angelus, the Angel of History, risen from the ashes of unspeakable devastation. Ferraro reminds us that this devastation isn’t always palpable; the beauty of the landscape blunts our sense of historical time. (Ela Bittencourt)

In the presence of Fabrizio Ferraro und Luís Miñarro (producer).

  • Euplemio Macri - Walter Benjamin
  • Catarina Wallenstein - Lisa Fittko
  • Marco Teti - Militiman 1
  • Bruno Duchêne - Militiman 2
  • Pau Riba - Militiman 3
  • Fabrizio Ferraro
  • Simone Borgna
  • Giancarlo Leggeri
  • Amanda Villavieja
  • Fabrizio Ferraro
  • Pau Riba
Boudu/Passepartout Società Cooperativa Sociale Integrata, Eddie Saeta, Rai Cinema
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