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The refugee issue at the heart of political film

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The article addresses the issue of the refugee crisis through the perspective of the film opus of Portuguese director Pedro Costa and especially French documentarist Sylvain George in the light of Rancière’s analyses of their works. It focuses on the radical actions of depersonalization by which refugees revolt against the intolerable regulations of the migrant and asylum policy of the European Community. It draws from the analysis of the dialogue between Rancière and George to point out aspects of political film that strive to let individuals who are excluded from economic and social trajectories take charge of their own destinies: to reclaim the possibility of their own voice and a common space. This process of transcending the intolerable is established in the relationship between politics and aesthetics, which is simultaneously the relationship between the forms of (self-) articulation of the underprivileged and the form of art utilized by the filmmaker.
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Keywords: Jacques Rancière; Pedro Costa; Sylvain George; common space; emancipation; intolerable; political film; refugee crisis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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