High in the French Alps, on the border between Italy and France, migrants fleeing war, political persecution and poverty risk their lives in the hope of a better life crossing dangerous mountain routes. Witnessing the migrants' suffering and dismay, the local population of the Roya Valley has taken action to provide them with shelter, food and legal counselling. Nonetheless, in France, the transporting or hosting of undocumented migrants is a criminal offense, and the population has soon found itself on the wrong side of the law. So far, nine people from Roya are facing criminal charges, but with the support of lawyers they discovered that the local authorities were in fact violating their own laws. So they started to provide minors and refugees with legal support and to document the numerous human rights' violations committed by the State.
Nuno Escudeiro documents the personal stories of common women and men who are struggling to keep a sense of morality and who have become engaged in reshaping their own nation's laws by engaging in civil disobedience.
"This compelling film goes to the front lines of the refugee crisis as a handful of citizens in the Roya and Durance Valleys, near the French-Italian border, do their part to help fellow citizens of the world seek asylum."
"The doc focuses not on the horrors people escaped or the perils of their travels-those narratives have been covered elsewhere-but on the individual actions that seek to remedy the solution."
"Escudeiro captures some incredible footage as the police detain asylum seekers, like an Eritrean family of three, and deport them to Italy on the sly without even informing the family's lawyer..."
"The Valley is a refreshing call to action that challenges audiences to go rogue if they can no longer stand idle as the situation worsens."
(Pat Mullen, 27/04/19 - Hot Docs - for POV magazine - read the full article here )
Editing: Beatrice Segolini
Written by: Nuno Escudeiro and Moritz Bonatti
A coproduction Miramonte Film and Point du Jour
with Public Sénat, Arte G.E.I.E