France, 86 min
Lech Kowalski returns to Utica, where he grew up, in a multicultural district inhabited by the descendants of migrants from the European continent, into which “white proles” are also crammed. The town resembles all the other small cities on the “rustbelt” of the East American coast, whose factories were the spearhead of the American dream. On the terrace of an apartment where he has hung a luminous sign announcing I Pay for Your Story, the “revenant” offers to buy residents’ life stories from them. This style resonates like a confession of faith for the filmmaker working in this trash setting: you always must pay to have something. For the characters who parade before the camera, most of whom come from visible minorities, continue to pay for the devastating effects of ultraliberalism. Kowalski empathically observes the crushing of the American working class. At times, happenstance becomes involved, when a woman pronounces the word “hell” and the projector shuts down abruptly, plunging the decor of an old Jamaican club into darkness.
International Feature Film Competition