LIONEL BAIER_ CONTINENTAL DRIFT
20th March 2023
21st March 2023
Lionel Baier’s biting yet heartfelt film tackles the migrant crisis and personal failures of empathy with wit and intelligence.
Nathalie Adler (Isabelle Carré) is on a mission in Sicily for the European Union, organising the upcoming visit of Presidents Macron and Merkel to a migrant camp. Their presence has great symbolic value, demonstrating that everything is under control. But who is still prepared to believe in this European family on the verge of breakdown? Definitelv not Albert (Théodore Pellerin), Nathalie’s son, who is a charity activist and turns up in Sicily out of the blue - years after breaking off all contact with his mother. Their reunion will prove more explosive than the diplomatic mission.
"Strikes a balance between political satire and heartfelt drama" Variety
The two screenings were followed by Q&As with film director Lionel Baier.
Screening and Q&A, Alliance française in Glasgow on 20 March, Institut français in Edinburgh on 21 March 2023. In collaboration with the French Film Festival UK, in the frame of the Mois de la Francophonie.
I started working on the screenplay in 2014, following the first great migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. I visited Italy and Greece to see how “reception” operations on European soil actually unfolded. At the time, the character of Nathalie was a British woman working for the European Union. Then came Brexit, the closure of Italian ports and Covid! Between 2016 and 2021, my co-writer Laurent Larivière and I were constantly chasing after events, which are always one step ahead of fiction. If we shot the movie in 2022, we'd have to incorporate Putin's war. We decided to set the action in 2020, on the basis that it is a sufficiently iconic year for everybody to be able to cast their minds back to it. After all, we talk about pre-Covid and post-Covid, just as we used to talk about pre-war and post-war. Everybody remembers what they were doing just before Covid struck. - Lionel Baier, film director (full interview)