Film and discussion
Our City has been a five-year-long adventure, a boundless exploration, a struggle for clarity, a love affair with complexity, a reconciliation with one’s demons, a free field for experimentation, an exercise in provoca- tion, a tentative fairy tale, a large chunk of life shared with a great many people who gave us time and attention and allowed us an entry into their world.
The film moves like an endless horizontal gaze, from one situation to the next, on the strength of an association of ideas or a visual texture. Sometimes it’s the poet and taxi driver Koresh Garegani who drives vie- wers from one place to the next; sometimes it’s the children playing in the city. We are constantly traversing space and contemplating a wide array of situations that exist within the same city but are seldom thought of as making up a whole. Speaking about cultural diversity without taking into consideration the political and economic forces that underlie and in- fluence it makes no sense.
Our City is the portrait of a metropolis that belongs to everyone, a ‘city of foreigners’ that affirms itself more loudly here than elsewhere. Brus- sels is a multifaceted mirage. In its ambiguous profile, expats and im- migrants, commuters and asylum-seekers, all see the promise of a private happiness. We often say that Brussels does not have a strong identity like Paris or London. That’s because Brussels is alive, because it still breathes, because it is ‘in the making’.
Our City is a film about a city under construction. On its horizon you can see the profile of the cranes and the skeletons of new towers. But what is the human construction that we are putting into place?
Maria Tarantino, April 2015
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