Valentin Noujaïm / France, Qatar / 2023 / 16 min / World Premiere
In the 1980s, a nightclub in a futuristic Paris suburb became a haven for the city’s Arab youth. The forgotten story of the Pacific Club is brought to life in Valentin Noujaïm’s beautiful, elliptical film.
In 1979, Pacific Club opened in a basement in La Défense, the newly built business district that, with its own futuristic triumphal arch, sits in line from the Champs Élysées and is still as ’80s as a white Lamborghini. The Pacific Club was the first nightclub for Arabs from the Paris suburbs. A parallel world of dance, sweat, young lovers and one-night romances. Azedine was one of them, and he tells the forgotten story of the club and of a generation that dreamed of integrating into France but instead came face to face with racism, AIDS and a heroin epidemic. The club since closed, but in the meantime nightclubs have once again become laboratories for political and social ideas that are tested on the dance floor but resonate in the world outside. Valentin Noujaïm’s beautiful, elliptical film evokes the story of the Pacific Club in the romantic darkness of the night, so you can feel both the pulsing bass and the promise of freedom.