wesh-wesh / what’s going on ?

In his film (partly fiction / partly report)Wesh, Wesh, qu’est-ce qui se passe? (2002) regisseur Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche documents the life in french suburbs around immigrants which in the local slang are adressed as Beurres (=from Africa or can also stand for Arab*) and Sans Papiers (=illegal). Eventhough the film has some relevance to any similar ghetto situation from Berlin, London or Detroit as taz author Claudia Lenssen (german only) wrote in 2003 the film currently is gaining renewed attention due to the actual situation in Paris .

An interview with Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche can be read at africultures.com
which introduces the film and filmmaker as following:

Rabah Ameur Zaïmèche returned to make his first film on the Bosquets housing estate where he grew up, “a boss’ son amongst workers’ sons, which made me who I am”, as he puts it. He gathered the funds needed to make the film, which was shot by a tiny crew of 2 to 3 technicians and one camera, by selling his share in the family business. It took a year to shoot, a year to edit, “to take the time needed”, then another year to find a distributor. Wesh Wesh. Qu’est-ce qui se passe? was finally released between the two rounds of the French presidential elections. In a climate marked by the whipping up of the theme of insecurity, he offers a different view of the deprived suburbs and their “street crews “, who are often seen to be the main culprits behind the estates’ rising violence.

about the film (sorry french/german only)
film description fsk, kulturreport and quotidien du cinema

* rebeu – beur (slang for French people of North African origin; beur itself is believed by most to be verlan for arabe, making rebeu double-verlan) (link)

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