Je suis né d'une cigogne

Tony Gatlif

Desillusioned by a future without perspective, Otto and Louna decide to leave everything behind them, steal a car and choose ultimate freedom. Their lives take a new turn when they find a stranger by the roadside, a wounded stork without 'papers'. By the maker of Gadjo Dilo

Does a stork need papers to cross the Mediterranean? After seeing the political-metaphorical road movie Je suis né d'une cigogne you could be forgiven for thinking it does. Otto and Louna, a worker and a hairdresser who see each other every morning on their way to work, have had enough of patronising by landladies, parents and government. Bored and depressed, by the prospect of a future without perspective, they decide to leave everything behind them, steal a car and choose for ultimate freedom. On the way they meet Ali, a young Arab immigrant. Their life finds a new direction when the three of them find a stork by the road, 'without papers' and with a wounded wing. They call him Mohammed, because he comes from Algeria. He is in serious trouble, because he has lost sight of his stork family. The three kids on the run help Mohammed by giving him 'forged papers', so that he can cross the border with Germany. Gatlif, whose Gadjo Dilo in 1998 was almost audience favourite in Rotterdam, approaches the issue of immigration in a pretty unconventional way. He does not shirk from allowing the stork to speak. Gatlif: 'In France there are 1.5 million birds and 1.5 million foreigners. The difference is that the bird is free, because he has no ID. He flies to Africa, to the wealthy countries and to developing countries. It makes no difference to him. He is an alien everywhere.'

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