The shoes of African refugees are washed up onto a beach. Then Betty comes into view; she too has arrived in Europe by sea. Her journey as an illegal immigrant takes her across a Europe in transition. She meets people who are rising up against the system, joins their solidarity marches and demonstrations and becomes a witness of the Occupy movement, impoverished illegal immigrants, the dissatisfaction of a younger generation and a society in turmoil. A mixture of dramatised scenes and real-life events are used to portray Betty’s journey to the heart of today’s zeitgeist. Stéphane Hessel’s bestselling essay Time for Outrage! which has been an inspiration to many of the protagonists of this pan-generational movement, steers us through Tony Gatlif’s film. Betty marches alongside heaving masses through a Europe caught between hope and despair; she hears their wake-up call and the sound of a new song. Images of flyers fluttering down from the skies as well as iridescent flamenco dancers are among the many colourful scenes that convey a powerful impression of the strength of these protests.
by Tony Gatlif
with Isabel Vendrell Cortès