Women are waiting. They look their best, cheer each other up, break down sometimes but they always keep hoping. In Ti-Tomm small Family Support Centre ajoining the men’s prison in Rennes, the detainees’ relatives are waiting for the visits... They are always early. A few seconds delay and the prison gate will remain closed. They come once, twice or three times a week, every week, for months and even years.They are mostly women. These modern Penelopes live at the pace of their men inside. Time is suspended, life seems to stop. Arbitrary decisions by the prison management, arbitrary transfers and interdictions make up their daily life. By choosing to remain exclusively on ‘the other side of the wall’, on the families’ side, the film paradoxically offers a direct approach of what the carceral reality is. The hidden side of imprisonment. Life without the other. But definitely life, not a subsitute.
Stéphane Mercurio is former editor in chief of the monthly magazine ‘La rue’, distributed by homless people. She directed numerous short films and documentaries for television. ‘A Coté (Next Door)’ is her multi-awarded first feature-length film.
The Other SIde of the Wall
2007, 92', color, video
Anna Zisman, Stéphane Mercurio
Festivals & Awards:
2007 EntreVues, Belfort - Documentary public award and Best french film award; 2008 Rennes – PRIX du Festival Images de la Justice