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Lawyers for aliens



The waiting room of the Eden law practice in Rouen (Normandy) is mobbed. There are babies crying, adults talking in Mongolian, Russian, Malagasy, Arabic, Chinese – students, mothers or fathers, all waiting impatiently for their appointment with one of the lawyers. The practice is specialized in the rights of aliens. Over four years, it has handled 5,800 cases concerning foreign applicants of 30 different nationalities: asylum applications, residence permits, French naturalization, appeals against expulsion from France, custody in holding centres, etc. With sometimes surrealistic background life stories of men and women fighting against all odds to obtain the right to reside in the French territory, the documentary captures the daily life of the law practice as it unfolds behind closed doors, which the diversity of situations turns into a little theatre of the rights of aliens. An extraordinary microcosm steeped in narrative tension which shows how life in the practice builds around the requests and the recording of life stories in constant motion, their future hanging on a legal ruling which the lawyers will or not be able to affect for the better.


16/9, 55’, color, HD / October 2014
Production company: Nord-Ouest documentaires    
Line producer: Sylvie RANDONNEIX
Broadcaster: Public Sénat
With support of: CNC - Pôle Image Haute-Normandie
Photography and sound: Adrien RIVOLLIER et Philippe HERPIN
Editor: Scott STEVENSON
Sound mixer: Jean-Marc SCHICK
Color correction: Olivier DASSONVILLE
Production assistant: Estelle GAILLARDET
Music composer: Adrien RIVOLLIER
Music supervisor: Frédéric ALIOTTI


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