Damien Samedi is a hard-working man, a loving son and a caring boyfriend. He’s also been struggling with a drug addiction most of his adult life, counting on his mother’s matter-of-fact, yet unwavering support. Mixing unexpected moments of humour, insight and compassion, their tender mother-son relationship is at the heart of his challenging journey.
At once an intimate character study and a much-needed humane counter to the shockingly one-sided, fear-mongering depictions of addiction prevalent in today’s media, “Petit Samedi” is the universally relatable, life-affirming portrait of a man facing his demons.
Dir. Paloma Sermon-Daï - 75min - 2020 - Belgium
"Documentaries often rely on handheld cameras to relay immediacy or intimacy; Petit Samedi, fortunately, is a welcome relief. Shot like still tableaux, evoking the style of posed family photos, every day conversations between mother and son gently unfold over the dinner table or in front of the TV. Keeping a respectful distance from its subjects, the film doesn’t sensationalise Damien’s plight, even when glimpses of his heroin habit quietly show up on screen. Here, addiction is not treated as a spectacle, but rather an alienating routine from which Damien works hard to escape." - Guardian
"It's raw. Leonard Cohen.. real long talks.. Samedi and his mother only. Beautiful." - Letterboxd.
"a sensitive film on drug addiction, on filial and maternal love, and on second, third or even fourth chances." - Cineuropa
"a restrained, highly precise picture of a relationship marked by affection and love but which is also difficult to define" - Berlin Film Fest.
Head over to the True Story blog to read a statement from director Paloma Sermon-Daï: https://truestoryfilm.blog/