When he plugs in his newly acquired second-hand sewing machine, Abou smiles, satisfied. “His voice is soft,” he remarks when his mechanical purr kicks in. After a year and a half of exile from Guinea, the young man has just set foot in Le Havre. He left behind his little brother, his mother and his father, the latter having entrusted him one day “to a gentleman” to take him to Europe. “I didn’t know where we were going. The only thing on my mind was to go to school,” recalls Abou in front of the benevolent lens of Ariane Doublet.
He never had access to education. Not the means. In Le Havre, he joined a CAP laundry in the largest high school in the city. He would have liked to register for the CAP couture, but did not have the sufficient level. However, his meeting with one of the teachers opens the doors to a few lessons during which she discovers, won over, Abou’s nimble fingers and his “superb pencil line”.
Passion as the main subject
His goal is to become a creator. “But not a small, a great creator,” he says. On the label of the jacket he made in class, he wrote his first name – the name of his future brand. He loves everything about fashion, worships clothing and everything around it. Abou is touching, diligent. He has, anchored in his body, an overflowing desire to learn. On Instagram, under the pseudonym “Abou le King”, he submits to Internet users his creations in which he proudly poses.
Ariane Doublet’s documentary is sweet. He makes Abou’s passion his main subject and distills the story of his journey as an exile and the obstacles he comes up against, constrained by the irregularity of his situation on French soil. With modesty, the documentary filmmaker captures the feelings that are expressed in silence, a smile or a dried tear with the back of her hand.