L'Ã‰tranger (the Foreigner)
Director: Kenneth Michiels
Producer: Catherine Castille / Bonka Circus
Moussa is an immigrant whoâ€™s just arrived from Senegal, and heâ€™s the football coach at BX Brussels of Vincent Kompany. L'Ã‰tranger follows him through the ups and downs of working with young foreign players as he strives to instil in them hope in their sport â€¦ and in their life.
In the â€˜poor crescentâ€™ around Brussels one child in three lives on the poverty line. But they can find refuge with BX Brussels of Vincent Kompany â€“ a sports and social project. L'Ã‰tranger follows recent immigrant Senegalese football coach Moussa as hestruggles to give them hope in their sport â€¦ and in their life.
In the suburbs of Saint-Louis in Senegal, Moussa is idolised by the juniors. For them he is a secondfather. But as soon as he married a Belgian girl he dropped everything to start a new life in Europe. The culture shock was enormous. Football saved the day.
At BX Brussels, Moussa has been given charge of a group of 12 to 13 year olds. Nearly all of them foreigners. Described as â€˜unmanageableâ€™, they rarely get to play football. Seeing them lose 0-8 is not uncommon. In the changing room, the coach endeavours to enter their world.
Jawad from Morocco has problems at school and gets punished at home, to the point of being forbidden to play football.
Presley from the Congo has enormous talent. Football is the centre of his world. But he can't stop misbehaving.
Gregorio from Ecuador is a quiet young lad seeking to distance himself from his drug-fuelled Latin-American gang in Brussels.
Cheikhâ€™s parents are from Senegal. Moussa recognises a bit of his home land in him. But Cheikh isn't really interested in his roots.
For a whole season L'Ã‰tranger follows Moussa and his charges on and off the field ... through victories and defeats, earning respect and coping with cultural differences, sportsmanship, disputes and friendships. Will Moussa succeed in drawing them all together into a closely-knit group and producing results? Or is it the problems that will win the day?