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When East Meets West

Not available for screening anymore


Directed by Giovanni Troilo

  • Italy, Belgium 2017; 61 min
  • Original version: French, Italian
  • Genre: Documentary

  • From the director of LE PARADIS C'EST ICI presented at When East Meets West

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Charleroi used to be known for its thriving coal and steel industries. This city near the Belgian capital Brussels once attracted people seeking work from all Europe. But it has now come to symbolize the problems plaguing the entire continent: increasing unemployment, immigration, petty crime – and a growing sense of unease. To make matters worse, rain constantly falls from the gray blanket of clouds looming over the dilapidated apartment blocks and slumbering factories. Charleroi has become a spooky place, and that feeling is only confirmed by the stories supplied by residents and passersby in this poetic film. Archive footage of vibrant industry is intercut with portraits of people dealing with a changing world. A former migrant worker, a group of men who empty out houses belonging to people who died alone, a sturdy dominatrix and a young man struggling with the widening gulf between sections of the population all speak from the heart about how they’re managing to keep it together.



    Giovanni Troilo