European Film Festival Paris
from 17 to 31 March 2022
European Film Festival Paris
from 17 to 31 March 2022

Grounds of Hope

by Lionel Bernardin

(Fiction, France, 2021, 92’, C, En ST) with Julien Barbier, Julien Kititi, Sébastien Corona, Stéphanie Schoonjas

Grounds of Hope

Alex, a former professional boxer, works for a rural cement company. One night, his twin sister, pursued by armed men, barges in at his place with an immigrant and his daughter. Caught up by the circumstances, he agrees to hide them, unaware of how many people are after them. The spiral begins.


“This is a story of about poverty in rural areas, but also about the problems faced by a man who lives in a rural working-class community in economically depressed circumstances. Through the destiny of this man, the film touches on economic and social issues such as poverty in a rural milieu, but also on the problems of people who have fled their country to come to France, the so-called “migrants”. I wanted to speak about their reception in France, about someone who opens his home and risks being found guilty of the “crime of solidarity.” Lionel Bernardin, interview au Film Daily

Lionel Bernardin
Lionel Bernardin

Lionel Bernardin was born in Angouleme, France, in 1981. With a degree in images and communication, he first worked as a composer. He also participated in recording an album of urban music in New York in 2003, and then at the Francofolies workshops in 2005. Always fascinated by images and fiction, he went on to directing in 2009. He wrote and directed five short subjects for which he also composed the original music. Confessions Financières (2015) received an award from Cédric Klapisch at Sundance Channel Shorts in 2015. The film was then selected by several festivals, such as the Angouleme Francophone Film Festival, the Sacramento International Film Festival, and the European Short Festival in Bordeaux. Grounds of Hope  is his first feature-length fictional film.

Other movies: Competition Prix Sauvage