Previews 4 March - 6 March as part of the Glasgow Film Festival 2021
Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh’s visually dazzling, inventive and beautifully performed feature debut successfully challenges the stereotypes of life in Paris’ tougher suburbs.
Cité Gagarine was a housing project in Ivry-sur-Seine, built in the early 1960s and seen as the possible future of suburban life for less advantaged suburban communities. Named after the Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin actually attended its inauguration in 1963, as seen in the archive footage at the beginning of Liatard and Trouilh’s drama. It then moves to the present day, with Youri (superb first-time actor Alseni Bathily) living in the tower block, which has been marked for destruction by local authorities. As residents are forced out of their homes, Youri transforms the building into his own spacecraft, hoping to escape a world that is changing against his wishes. Gagarine is quite unlike any other inner-city drama. Blending magical and social realism, the film argues the importance of community in an increasingly fractured – and fractious – world.