A Counter Migrant Image: Between Self-Representation and Witnessing in Les Sauteurs (2016)


  • Samuel Antichi Sapienza Università di Roma




Documentary, migration, self-representation, media witnessing, Les sauteurs.


The journey that refugees have to undertake to escape war and persecution has become a necessary topic to tackle in recent years, especially for documentary as a genre and a form. In order to reflect upon the media witnessing and the migrant self-representation in the digital age, my aim in this paper is to take into account Les Sauteurs (2016), a film made by Moritz Sibert, Estephan Wagner and the African migrant Abou Bakar Sidibe. The man narrates his personal experience hoping to make it into Europe by climbing over the barrier between Morocco and the outlying Spanish city of Melilla. More than conveying denunciation and social critique, lending a voice to those who don’t usually get one and offering a platform for migrants to become actors and principal protagonists, Les Sauteurs sheds a light upon what has been invisible or discarded, providing a counterpoint narration from migrant subject position. The film reflects upon the very notion of self-representation, from representing to constituting himself, because Sidibe becomes more aware of being both the subject matter and the subject making the film. He becomes more conscious of the importance of exposing the harsh realities which surround him, in order to make the viewer bear witness, opening up to new forms of visualization concerning the migrant experience.



How to Cite

Antichi, S. (2019). A Counter Migrant Image: Between Self-Representation and Witnessing in Les Sauteurs (2016). Cinergie – Il Cinema E Le Altre Arti, 8(16), 95–103. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2280-9481/9621