A film by : Aladin Dampha / Ebuka Anokwa / Lionel Rupp / Lucas Grandjean / Lucas Morëel / Mamadou Bamba
« They said all Africans are dealers, except Obama and Mandela. »
« I was taught Christ was a white man with blue eyes. »
Black men, threatened by the police and stigmatized by the population, gather in a self-managed social centre in the heart of Lausanne. They share their daily lives and claim their identities, without having to apologize for who they are.
« Century after century
The desert and the sea have buried many
For the sea in all its wonder
Does not forgive anyone »
« A stone can live in a river for a thousand years,
it will never change into a crocodile. »
No Apologies describes the state of physical and mental siege of black people living in precarious conditions in Lausanne. Confronted with the need to protect anonymity and the impossibility of filming in the street, No Apologies was conceived in a way that allows its characters to express themselves freely. Masked or barefaced, they bear witness to their personal journey, their struggle for everyday survival and police brutality. Thus questioning their place in a Swiss society that considers them as pariahs.
The film is a collective project resulting from an alliance between the people directly affected by these issues and movie professionals. Given the urgency of the situation, the documentary was produced in very little time, in guerrilla mode without the constraints of institutional funding.
– Riffraff, Zurich (en partenariat avec l’Alliance contre le profilage racial), du 5 au 22 juillet 2020, Première en présence de l’équipe. (programme ici)
– Neues Kino, Bâle (en partenariat avec le Velotour d’Horizon), 17 juillet 2020, Projection en présence de l’équipe. (programme ici)
– Wahnof Bahnhöfli, Bienne, 16 juillet 2020, Projection en présence de l’équipe. (programme ici)
– Kochareal, Zurich, 11 juillet 2020, Projection en présence de l’équipe. (programme ici)
– Park Platz, Zurich, 10 juillet 2020, Projection en présence de l’équipe. (programme ici)
– Autonme Schule, Zurich, 6 juillet 2020, Projection en présence de l’équipe. (programme ici)
– Rossstall, Lucerne, 3 juillet 2020. Projection en présence de l’équipe. (programme ici)
– Kino Rex. Berne (en partenariat avec le Berner Rassismusstammtisch), 1 juillet 2020. Projection en présence de l’équipe. (programme ici)
– 55èmes Journées de Soleure, Soleure. 25 janvier 2020. (programme ici)
– Festival Cinémas d’Afrique, Lausanne. 24 août 2019. Première Mondiale
“No Apologies” released in DVD on September 14th
“No Apologies” extended at the Riffraff in Zurich until 22nd July
“No Apologies” released in Swiss-German in July !
Screenings in Zurich, Bern, Basel, Lucerne and Biel
The Vidy Theatre in Lausanne, programs “No Apologies” for 2 screenings on January 30th
“No Apologies” selected at the Solothurn Film Festival 2020! Screening on January 25th
Screenings of “No Apologies” in St. Imier, Fribourg and Monthey in November
« The highlight at the end of the journey: Spoken in English with a Nigerian accent, Ebuka Anokwa’s exhortation gleams with insight. The threads of Western colonial and postcolonial history unfold and the paradigms of the myths of the Western paradise take shape. » Filmexplorer, 21/10/19
« This movie’s goal has been reached as it continues its path in movie theaters with an unexpected success rate for a small, totally self-managed documentary, on the fringes of the official channels. » Vertigo, RSS 18/10/19
« It is precisely so that we do not forget these victims, to somewhat bridge the chasm of incomprehension, a fertile ground for fear tainted with hatred, that these young Africans wished to bring to light in this intimate documentary film. » Bon pour la tête, 11/10/19
« A film that carries the voice of those we never hear. » 19.30 RTS, 09/10/19
« In the documentary No Apologies, which played to a full house on Tuesday at the Bellevaux Cinema in Lausanne, Ebuka, Mamadou, Franck and their anonymous companions tell the story of their daily life as black men in the capital of canton Vaud as they experience it with their words as poets, philosophers, activists and human beings. » Le Temps 09/10/19
« Gathered for an evening meal in a self-managed space, they openly share, barefaced or covered, their condition as immigrants and the discrimination they are confronted with. And it is shocking. » 20 minutes 09/10/19
« No Apologies, is an unidentified cinematographic object that comes flying out of the screens of French-speaking Switzerland. » 24 Heures 07/10/19
« An uncompromising, straightforward and brutal movie, which depicts a harsh reality, violent and yet not without philosophy and laughter. » L’Événement Syndical 02/10/19
« Today, young black migrants want to break out of the silence, reclaim their word, explain themselves in front of public opinion. And it is through a film that they do so. » Forum RSS 08/09/19
« Screened in world premiere Saturday at the Festival Cinémas d’Afrique, the film No Apologies, which tells the life of black migrants in Lausanne, was sold out. » Le Courrier 26/08/19
« A claim of their identity, without having to apologize for who they are » La Télé 20/08/19
« We were sleeping in the forest where we created our Empire. »
« How many of you will I have to convince that I am a good black guy? »
Born in June 1989 in Enugu State, Nigeria. He completed his primary and secondary education. As a teenager, he became a well-known street dancer and rapper in his neighborhood. After his studies, he found a job in a hotel room service. In 2009, he left for Italy to join his brother. As long as he lived with his sibling, the street was his only chance of survival. In 2012, he went to prison and came out in 2013. He then decided to move to Scandinavia but was expelled to Italy. In December 2014, he moved back to Switzerland, where he discovered more opportunities to start a career as an artist. In 2016, he began writing a book, his first poetry called Piece think of mine. For the past few years, he has been performing in alternative venues. He was finally able to save a month’s salary to buy a DJ set and that’s where his artist name, DJ Emma the Great, comes from.
Born in 1996 in Latrikunda, The Gambia. He graduated in 2011 in Banjul. At this time, he wanted to become a soccer player. In 2013, he moved to Italy to pursue his professional career, but this did not work out. He began working as an activist, writing in social media and on the Internet about racism and police brutality. In 2015, he moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, without family. He slept at the Sleep-in (a housing project for the homeless), in bunkers and private places. Later, with friends from the Sleep-in, he built a network, Jean Dutoit, which occupied a first house in Fourmi in 2015. After only two weeks, the Jean Dutoit collective moved to the former Heineken factory. He got married in 2017 and is part of the Outrage collective, which fights for victims of racism, and Jupiter Sound System, a support group for prisoners.
Born in 1983, he directed several short films, such as Le Poisson, Eskapop and La Forêt which competed in many international festivals and received several awards. He completed his training at the HEAD in Geneva in 2011. Since then, he has continued to work with directors, musicians and visual artists on various interdisciplinary projects. He collaborated on individual and collective projects with Zooscope since its creation in 2008. In 2012, he directed his first feature film with his brother Adrien Rupp. Quai Ouest, an eponymous adaptation of the work of Bernard-Marie Koltès. He co-directed the feature film Heimatland in international competition at the Locarno 2015 festival. In 2017, the documentary A Campaign of Their Own was selected in official competition at Vision du Réel, Karlovy Vary and Locarno.
Born in 1983, after studying International Relations, he became involved in the defense of human rights for various NGOs in Switzerland and in different countries in crisis. In 2018, he turned to audiovisual production and worked for a year as a production assistant for Beauvoir films in Geneva, notably on the documentaries Walden (Karlovy Vary, Sundance), Closing Time (Locarno, IDFA).
Born in 1989 in Yverdon-les-Bains. He obtained the rank of First Lieutenant during his military service in the medical troops. With this managerial experience, he joined McDonald’s as a shift coordinator for the duration of his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Lausanne. After a breakdown he left everything behind to live in the forest. Then, noticing that there weren’t any left, he turned to the streets, squats and rehearsal rooms.
Originally from Ivory Coast, Mamadou Bamba wrote his first collection of poems in 2007. In 2013, he joined the St. Martin collective, active in the cultural and social life of Lausanne.
Written / Directed by: Aladin Dampha, Ebuka Anokwa, Lionel Rupp
Production: Lucas Grandjean
Logistics: Lucas Morëel
Poetry: Mamadou Bamba
Sound engineer: Erika Nieva da Cunha, Cédric Simon
Masks: Aline Badertscher
Fixer: Rebecca Tickle
Editing: Lionel Rupp, Zooscope, Lausanne
Subtitles: Lucas Morëel, Rebecca Tickle, Sarah Frehner
Calibration & PCD: Robin Erard, Rougegorge postproduction, La-Chaux-de-Fonds
Sound mixing: Monika Kosmauskaitė Žižiūnė, Studio Roof Sound, Vilnius, Lithuania
Graphic design: Joël Boucheteil
Poster photo & website: Jorge Stamatio