“ T u think i have the right to let you ride? If you were still a cat … “ The sentence reveals all the complexity of the subject treated by Vulnerable: the meeting between Elsa (Léa Drucker, amazing) and Bijan (Ilyès Lihiouel), a 12 year old teenager, Afghan and on the street. Bijan is what is called an isolated miner. He crossed the planet, in the worst conditions, and finds himself in Paris, city of light, in the cold, hunger, and in the hands of thugs who exploit and mistreat him. At the age of 12. Bijan is also the kid who is going to rock Elsa: as a social worker, she does not have the right to accommodate minors. As a citizen, she took the leap. Because in the face of the influx of refugees, society gives up and has no answers. Because she takes care of hungry kids all day, who sometimes walk in the middle of winter in makeshift shoes; because simply, as she said to her colleague Cécile (Romane Bohringer), “The problem is the law”. What puts said Cécile in a mad rage, she who, under anxiolytics, considers that her “The only way to be useful is to help those whom I can help”. And too bad for the others, or almost.
Feeling of helplessness, of waste
This TV movie is interesting in several ways. First because it sheds light, two years later the time of the lost, by Virginie Sauveur, on Arte, migrants, their loneliness, their suffering, which is increased tenfold when it comes to adolescents. Even if a character like Cécile believes that Bijan will always do, “Since he managed to cross the planet at an age when your son did not know how to take the metro on his own”. Then, this TV movie is also closely interested in what live, day to day, people who work in contact with these kids, their feeling of helplessness, of waste, the choices that society also imposes on them: to help the one – here and not that one, to consider that this one tells the truth about his age and that this one is of age, to be in any case confronted with the darkest human distress.
But that’s not all. It also opens the way to a reflection on the engagement of women. Elsa is married, has a teenage son. Her husband, Philippe (Thierry Godard), who cheated on her with the neighbor, has just left. His argument, very lame: “If you didn’t put so much energy into your work, you would have saved some for me at night.” “ By giving Elsa “the dirty role” in the failure of their relationship. Whereas he, a doctor, is a committed man. His teenage son sends him the same violence: “You are never there, and even when you are there, you are not there. I’m tired of being the trash can of your day ”, he reproaches him. “You make us guilty of having a normal life”, Philippe also launches him. Where her family should support her, be proud of her commitment, Elsa only encounters a wall of incomprehension. Because she is a woman? Because it is difficult to have a “normal” life when you are faced all day, all week, all year round, with the most filthy miseries, that of children?
Elsa’s loneliness and Bijan’s meet. They are both “vulnerable”. However, it is their meeting that will put their lives in the right place, and allow them to rethink their priorities. What if opening your heart was basically the best way to think about the world, even if it meant getting hit?