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.