20-year-old Cyrille Kabore was a young refugee in Ghana when director Fabio Palmieri met him in a park in Milan, Italy.
Cyrille was one of the over 400,000 people from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who try to enter Europe, desperate to escape grinding poverty, economic turmoil and political upheaval.
Fabio was so struck by the refugee’s harrowing journey across land and sea that he wanted to make a film about Cyrille. But Cyrille didn’t want his image to be seen onscreen — he was afraid his family would see how desperate he was.
So Fabio hit upon a striking visual to accompany Cyrille’s voice — images from a mannequin factory, which both emphasize and play against the dehumanization and depersonalization Cyrille has gone through.
This award-winning short documentary explores the plight of immigrants and refugees in its profile of Cyrille, offering an emotional, compassionate take on what’s often flattened as a news story.
But with its powerful visuals juxtaposed with Cyrille’s intelligent, emotional narration, “Irregulars” is also a powerful artistic statement about empathy, understanding and suffering.