What does it mean to be an immigrant in the UK? Certainly over the past few years (decades, generations) the general population continues to turn against those who simply want to live here. But what do we know about those people, and why they would want to come over here? This is one short that tells one, very intimate but terrific story.
Métèque revolves around Samia, a young woman with hopes and ambitions. However, during an interview with a new job, her right to work in the UK is questioned. Therefore, she is sent on a spiralling and intimate look as she feels instantly displaced and wondering truly where she belongs.
Lyna Dubarry as Samia is fantastic. From the beginning, she gets under the skin of Samia’s psyche and the motives which drive her. When she is confronted with a surprise party, Samia’s clear frustration is shown in slight facial movies as Dubarry suffers with the conflict. A heartfelt monologue in which Dubarry uncovers Samia’s feelings of displacement and a lack of belonging will send shivers down your spine.
Playing opposite Lou Stassen as Zoe, the pair have this kinetic energy as friends who have journeyed together. As their paths seems to separate, they are pulled closer together and their bond feels realistic and emotional, without gearing too much into sentimentality.
It helps that the script is written by the pair and they help bring the women struggles, passions, and desires to the screen. It unravels gradually and tenderly which makes moments of high-emotion more palpable.
There is strong, quiet direction from Lauren Blackwell who allows the film to study the women as though we were flies on the wall. There is also good cinematography with blue tones that thematically feel cold and isolated.
The biggest problem is that the music feels out of place and almost jaunty, which affects scenes that deserve to be without a score.
That being said, the short film is well-acted and tenderly directed. Métèque is a tender but amazing film to watch.
You can watch Métèque right here.