Present during the Toronto festival, director Ladj Ly, whose next film Bâtiment 5 returns once again to life in the French suburbs, denounced police violence. Questioned by the American media Deadline, the recipient of the César for best film in 2019 spoke of “a recurring problem in France”.
In Bâtiment 5, the director is interested in the housing problems encountered by residents of French suburbs as well as police violence. The feature film should be released in French cinemas on December 6.
For the magazine which interviews the director, the feature film resonates with the riots that occurred in the spring after the death of Nahel M., killed by police shooting. “It’s a recurring problem in France: the violence, the murders committed by the police in these neighborhoods. Unfortunately, this type of event happens every month. History repeats itself,” he explains.
Asked about the “lack of respect of the police for the residents” visible in the film, Ladj Ly continues: “It’s the norm. This is what we have always lived with... They are not there to protect us, on the contrary. We have the impression that for them, we are undesirables and that they are there to hit us. Saturday, during a conference reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the director would have gone further by assuring that "the police have the green light to kill blacks and Arabs" and that "the government no longer gives the impression of have control over the police force.”
In Building 5, riots take place and a mayor's house is targeted. The incident recalls the attack against the mayor of Haÿ-les-roses Vincent Jeanbrun, whose home was targeted by a car ram set on fire in the spring. “We were working on fiction, and unfortunately the reality exceeded the fiction. When I saw these images, I was very shocked and I questioned myself. The character in the film, who attacked a mayor's house, gave up, lost hope and broke down. He is desperate and has nothing to lose,” says Ladj Ly.
For the filmmaker, police violence would worsen from year to year. “I was already talking about it four years ago. And four years later, it gets worse. The police have carte blanche to kill these young people without ever being convicted, he denounces. It’s a fact and the numbers show it. It's not a new problem."