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DocLab Shorts 24 Nov at 19:45

A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.

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Burn Out

This shocking web documentary captures the recent wave of suicides in France, which is on the verge of a collective burnout.

In recent years in France, a suicide has been committed in public on average every two weeks: April 26, 2011, in the parking lot at France Telecom. October 26, 2011, in front of the Élysée Palace in Paris. February 13, 2013, at an employment agency in Nantes. And they all do it by self-immolation. Who were the real people behind the victims, and why could they find no alternative? First, photographer and web documentary maker Samuel Bollendorff made subdued shots of the scenes of the suicides, which evoke a desolate and forbidding atmosphere. And then he went to get the victims’ stories. Together with co-director Olivia Colo, he talked to family members, colleagues and social workers. They attended funerals and cremations, sifted through archives of radio and TV reports and interviewed experts. With a real sense of urgency, Bollendorff and Colo explain that there is more at play here than only personal desperation. The wave of suicides is a cry for help from a society on the verge of a collective burnout. The directors use a running ECG scan to structure their material. The viewer can click on the undulating and sometimes turbulent lines to watch clips. And then a perfectly straight line appears. It seemed to be the only way out for Djamal Chaar, Remy Louvradoux, Manuel Gongora and the others we meet here.

Project details

Year of development :2013
Created by:Samuel Bollendorff & Olivia Colo
With:Honkytonk Films, France Télévisions Nouvelles Ecritures, CNC and MEDIA Interactive
Full project credits

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