Cannes, 26 mai 2017 (La Croix). The blue sea of the Bay of Cannes with all its yachts and boats must not let us forget that refugees fleeing their home countries in peril of their lives are drowning on a daily basis in this same Mediterranean.
Away from the glittering Promenade de la Croisette, in a well hidden commercial and industrial area of Cannes, you now have the opportunity to share their experience via the virtual reality (VR) film Carne y Arena ("Flesh and Sand").
This 6 ½ minute film, which was made by the Mexican director, Alejandro Iñarritu (21 grams, Babel, Birdman), is meant for museums rather than the film festival.
First, you enter a huge warehouse, where barefoot in the sand and without your personal belongings someone in the shadows will present you with a VR helmet.
Within seconds, you are projected to a dawn scene into the Mexican desert with a group of exhausted migrants, men, women, and children who are looking to cross the US border.
Suddenly, the sound of a helicopter descends, freezing you in its violent light. Immediately, armed men spring from a 4WD, automatic weapons in hand, aggressive dogs on a leash, shouting orders at you to get down on your knees hands in the air and to drop everything.
You find yourself literally in the midst of these poor souls, plunged with them in the midst of a terrifying environment.
Another similar scene unfolds, blinding you again among the threats, cries, and tears.
Then, suddenly, you are alone in the desert among the abandoned shoes and backpacks, without a past or future.
In the space of six minutes, you have morally and physically experienced the fate of these new wretched of the earth.
Finally, in a decompression chamber, the faces of genuine migrants with fixed gazes share their own travel hell experiences.
Returning to the Riviera light of your privileged life as a free person, you know that you will never forget what you have just “experienced".