This chapter presents three films that deal with homelessness and migration: Qu’ils reposent en révolte (Sylvain George, 2011) about migrants in Calais; Au bord du monde/On the Edge of the World (Claus Drexel, 2014) on homeless people in central Paris; and La Permanence/On Call (Alice Diop, 2016), which depicts a free medical clinic in Bobigny. In all of these films, the protagonists live at the metaphorical edge of society, and some walk other edges as well, between life and death, between physical and mental illness and health. These three directors explore what happens at these edges, far outside the realm of direct experience for most documentary film viewers. They follow characters to physical and geographical edges—national borders, riverbanks, beaches, and roadsides—and invite viewers to tiptoe up to those edges and feel the danger they pose. The films create film spaces, if ephemeral ones, where these rootless individuals do belong, where they can emerge as individuals, and where there is a potential for experiential and ecological connection with the viewer.
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