Les Sentinelles du Port

The sentinels of the docks

  • Directing: Philippe Berrier
  • Duration: 52′
  • Co-production: France 3 Corse / Via StellaCINAPS TV
  • Delivery: June 2014


The very peculiar format of this film takes us on a journey of different times, genres and rhythm. It is a film about time that flies, about what once was, about emerging desires burying last hopes. It also casts a light on a restless world, the evolution of which some of us would like to stop while others would gladly speed up, on the environment that every single stage of the harbor's evolution reshapes and questions, on lifestyles and working conditions as well as man's neverending necessary struggle to adapt to more and more oppressing yields.

The harbor lives, dies and comes back to life faster everyday. What about the dockers?

Marseille. The town and its harbor. Or should we say the harbor and its town? This is a vision of a couple with a chaotic story, two structures which have eventually settled down in different territories and whose only common horizon is the sea. The film takes to the docks- a battlefield where struggles are experienced and lived in a brotherly or betrayal atmosphere. Should one yield to the laws of competition or stand up, knowing that the latter option will harm the workers, Marseille not being the sole harbor on earth? What should be thought of the almighty French trade-union known as the C.G.T., of the hard-line and damaging consequences of its stands in terms of job opportunities, yield, flexibility of dock work? Should one opt for solidarity or the emerging individualism? How to figure out past dock work and its noteworthy evolutions over the past 50 years? How to choose between the past back-breaking work which consisted in harnessing wagons on the deck of a ship by 35 degrees Celsius and these new handling methods, more humane but staff-trimming?

How should the former dockers and the urban tsunami brought about at the beginning of the 21st century be looked on? The audience is definitely placed at the heart of the issues that are dear to the dockers, and thus to society.

Technical Summary

  • Title: The Sentinels of the docks
  • Duration: 52’
  • Ratio: 16/9
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Formats: 35mm (black&white) + 16mm (color) + DV (color) + HD (color)
  • Author - director: Philippe Berrier
  • Editing: Isabelle Collin
  • Original Music: Sonia De Meglio
  • Production: DOCKS 66
  • In coproduction with: France Televisions / Cinaps TV
  • Available Versions: french / english
  • Delivery: June 2014
  • ISAN number : 0000-0003-CB1A-0000-F-0000-0000-T



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