A naked body in the darkness, screaming at the top of its lungs yet remaining mute. The poetic opening scene of Paradise Drifters features Yousef, a teen who needs help, love or at least a bit of attention. But just like the other two leads in this raw road movie, there is no one who cares about him.
Yousef gets to leave the juvenile detention centre he was in, but has no family to return to. Chloe's stepfather got her pregnant and she is sent off to Spain. Lorenzo wants to make a quick buck smuggling drugs.
Their chance coming together doesn't mean they are out of trouble. In Mees Peijnenburg's feature film debut the characters – all solid performances from a young cast – suffer. There is no easy way out of this cruel world. But the more their mutual trust grows, the more liberating Paradise Drifters becomes.
Also see IFFR x De Balie: Paradise Drifters.