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Flow Mechanics

Friday, May 13, 2016 - 5:00pm
Community Partner(s)

Flow Mechanics

Nathalie Loubeyre | 
France |
 2015 | 
85 minutes


From its deliberately technocratic title to scenes of grainy security footage, Flow Mechanics speaks to the many ways in which debates over immigration render the experiences of those seeking refuge in Europe (and elsewhere) invisible. By combining stark footage with poignant testimonies, director Nathalie Loubeyre paints a bleak picture of the migrant crisis in Europe and the precarious lives of those living at the continent’s literal and figurative margins. The effect is mesmerizing. Starting with the ghostly images of faceless refugees appearing on a Croatian border patrol’s TV screen, the film makes it its job to take these people out of the shadows. Rather than choosing a single perspective to link her story, Loubeyre follows border guards, aid workers, morticians, and the migrants themselves to piece together the current conditions on the borders of Europe. At each stop, Loubeyre’s camera forces us to come to terms with our own dehumanizing gaze. In one particularly harrowing scene we hear from Africans living in a Tunisian port town and their efforts to reach Europe while the camera shows young men desperately climbing underneath moving trucks in an effort to smuggle themselves aboard a ferry to Italy.

There is little hope in this film, but even if you thought you knew the stories of Afghan, Syrian, and other refugees, this film will open your eyes... and force you to see them differently. -JC


Nathalie Loubeyre

Trained at the National School of Cinema Prague (FAMU), Nathalie Loubeyre directs documentaries and fiction, all rooted in social reality. In 1990, the screenplay of the movie Monnaie de Singe receives the first prize of Marathon Lussas scenario. In 2002, the short film La Coupure gets numerous awards including the Jean Vigo Prize in 2003, and a selection in Césars 2004. In 2009, No Comment, devoted to Calais migrants, Nathalie Loubeyre won the Grand Prix at the International Festival of Human Rights and is in competition at Cinema du Reel Festival. Her latest feature documentary, Flow Mechanics, deals with the violence of the European migration policy and will have a theatrical release in France in 2016.