ACID support text for Cannes 2009

The strength and originality of Sombras (Letters from the Shadows) is that it gives a voice to illegal immigrants as they tell their stories, full face, to their families back in Africa. These audiovisual letters home form the structure of the film. Scraps of shattered lives. A brief journey from the shadows into the light. Catharsis. Speaking directly to us, looking us in the eye, they hold up a mirror to whatever is left of our humanity.
After running the risk of physical death, they take an even greater risk: the symbolic death of being rejected by their families and doomed to remain in the shadows. Their loved ones, now so far away, expect so much of them that failure is not an option.
Beyond words, one near-silent scene sums up the senselessness of it all. A group of men sit around an upturned cardboard box on a patio, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. Clutching a plastic bag, they move slowly away and vanish over the horizon. A mechanical digger destroys the terrace. A cloud of birds takes to flight. The boundaries being endlessly pushed back, as if some inbuilt mechanism were keeping them forever on the run, forever chasing after something that exists only for others.
The delicate haunting beauty of Sombras lingers long after the final credits, changing the way we view the world around us, thanks to the selfless solidarity of its director who battled, against all odds, to keep his film alive and bring it, bruised yet still standing, to the screen.
Laurent Salgues, Téona Mitevska, Luc Verdier-Korbel ()
See the text in ACID Web Page (in French)