Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Panorama Dokumente

Combat au bout de la nuit

Fighting Through the Night

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Greece – yesterday’s headline – has all but disappeared from current affairs. Yet the precarious situation for the people in this country is as real as ever; the health system is teetering on the brink of collapse and the austerity measures have rendered people immobile. Sylvain L’Espérance’s long-term observational film is a poetic, combative work; in it he observes: a revolt on the part of powerless cleaners, a group of dock workers analysing a new kind of fascism, the commitment of the doctors working in a clinic financed by donations, but also the despair of refugees who often find themselves in more precarious situations than those they sought to flee. These extreme conditions are stirring feelings of solidarity among the country’s beleaguered under- and middle-classes who are now stepping up to defy the dehumanising lack of prospects. Sylvain L’Espérance grants us the kind of profound, compassionate insights which have long since disappeared from mainstream media. He is interested in the outsiders and the marginalised and their resistance against prevailing conditions. After making several films in Mali, he now turns his attentions to the heart of Europe.

Sylvain L'Espérance

Canada 2016

Greek, Arabic, Farsi, French

Documentary form
285 min · Colour & Black/White


Written and directed by
Sylvain L'Espérance
Director of Photography
Sylvain L'Espérance
Sylvain L'Espérance
Don Stavrinos
Sound Design
Catherine Van Der Donckt
Sylvain L'Espérance
Assistant Director
Filio Chatzinakou
Sylvain L'Espérance


Sylvain L'Espérance

Born in Montreal, Canada in 1961, he studied film and visual arts and has travelled extensively for the last 25 years, from Quebec to Mali to Greece. His films combine Direct Cinema with experimental forms to explore reality through a poetic lens. They have screened and won prizes at film festivals around the world.

Filmography (documentaries)

1988 Les écarts perdus 1992 Les printemps incertains (Shadows of Spring) 1997 Le temps qu’il fait 2002 La main invisible (The Invisible Hand) 2006 Un fleuve humain (The River Where We Live) 2009 Intérieurs du delta (Into the Delta) 2012 Sur le rivage du monde (Standing on the Edge of the World) 2014 Bamako temps suspendu 2016 Combat au bout de la nuit (Fighting Through the Night)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017

Produced by

Les films du tricycle

World sales

Les films du tricycle