Carnotstraat 17

Status:Completed
The dingy looking building from the twenties at the Carnotstraat 17 in Antwerp used to be the place of Ciné Rubens, the biggest and most modern film theatre in Belgium where international movie stars were striding across the red carpet. Now there is a migrant church on the ground floor with a collection of windows and balconies above of which you can still tell the original grandeur, but where satellite dishes and clotheslines set the tone. Here are several migrants living under one roof.

How does migration effects someone’s identity and what impact has moving from one country to the other, whether or not wanted, to someone’s personality and place in society? The documentary Carnotstraat 17 follows different residents in their daily activities. They talk about migration, identity and if they can fit into the society. They literally and figuratively came a long way, but they also have a long road ahead of them.

Now and then the stories of the migrants are crossed with the stories of the clients of the traditional Flemish cafe across the street and by the customers of the African hairdresser around the corner. While the hairdressers customers represent the colorful today of the neighborhood, the regulars of the bar reminisce on the swinging and white past of the district and the building as fabulous movie palace.

“The portraits with the immigrants are (…) engaging and touching.”

– Cinemagazine

“Beautiful portraits of residents originating from Afghanistan, Armenia and Tibet, who all, in their own way, attempt to make something of their new lives.”

– De Groene Amsterdammer

“In this human documentary we get a glimpse into the life of wandering souls who have ended up ashore and have to survive in a no man’s land in which you can trust nothing and nobody except your friends and family.”

– Filmtotaal

Credits

Director Klara van Es
Camera Mark Sanders
Sound Pieter Vansteenkiste
Editor Leen Anthonissen
Music Jef Neve
Sound design Mark Glynne
Distributor Cinema Delicatessen (NL), Docpoppies (BE)
Coproducer Mark Daems & Bram Crols, Associate Directors (BE)