A Congolese immigrant in Belgium, 54-year-old Samuel is still waiting for his papers after eight years, even though he was born Belgian in colonized Congo. In the meantime, he "volunteers" for a couple hundred euros a month, delivering newspapers from six in the morning until nine at night. In his dilapidated van, he drives along grey roads with fellow undocumented workers, exchanging jokes and words of wisdom about African and Western cultures, occasionally spreading the word of God. The police regularly harass him and send him to detention centres. But despite his fear of deportation, Samuel is a resolute optimist who refuses to see his dignity denied by authorities. With an unwavering sense of humour, he keeps confronting white Belgians—director Tim De Keersmaecker included—about their colonial past. Passe-Partout is a touching tribute to the invisible ones trapped in a Kafkaesque system.
Passe Partout is part of the TV-series ‘STEENWEG’ that received the DOCVILLE International Documentary Film Festival-Jury Award for ‘Best Flemish Documentary TV-Series’
Directed by Tim De Keersmaecker (No Man Is An Island)
Concept and production by Bart Maes
All music by Mick Lemaire