Love Your Neighbour | ARTE

A Frenchman by Joe the Irishman

And you, how do you picture a French(wo)man?

Assia The Bulgarian

When I think of France, I picture a family just before dinner, I imagine how they eat all together, not like us. The mother is preparing a special dish with a sauce. The father washes the salad. Their 15-year-old daughter is setting the table. Down in the yard, her little brothers shout and play. The eldest will soon arrive with her boyfriend. She is 18. She left home to study at university. Maybe this ideal picture comes from my stay in France over Christmas. People in villages kept inviting us and there was a festive atmosphere everywhere.

Collected in Burgas

Sandra the Latvian

I picture a Frenchwoman seated in a park by a cafe. She’s chatting with her friends about new trends in contemporary painting, about colours and shapes. She is dressed extravagantly, like an artist. She has a pretty hat and long hair. She is smoking a cigarette, naturally, and drinking coffee. We can hear music. Further on, there are musicians, painters, children… The weather is great and there is a bohemian atmosphere. Life is bustling all around.

Collected in Riga

Juozas the Lithuanian

From my readings, the French are cultured and educated people. They have a darker complexion, are livelier, rowdier, more emotional perhaps. They are a little freer in their behaviour towards women. We tend to be more Christian, stricter. If you are interested in art, there is Montmartre, an artists’ neighbourhood which is blooming at the moment. During the Soviet period, we had Russian films, it was high quality art. Today, there is a lot that is superficial, that came with democracy and the free market.

Collected in Vilnius

Veit the Italian

We are in the South West of France, north of Perpignan. We meet a woman who is around 40, her skin leathered by the sun. Her black hair is drawn back in a ponytail. She is slim and muscular, like a sportswoman. A trained lawyer, she has given up her practice to become a winemaker. Her partner had initially followed her, but quickly returned to the city, letting her fulfil her dream on her own. She is determined and independent, that’s why everybody admires her. She has us taste her wine in the cellar. She says it is natural… and pours us another glass.

Collected in Trieste


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Ruben | Spain

When I think of a a french I imagine a 30 years old man fashioned like a hipster giving opinios of what the others should do. travelling to other countries but with the mind closed to diferent ways of living. I Imagine him in a restaurant of a foreign country disgusted with an arrogant actittude, disgusted and disapointed for the dishes they have benn sereved.

Anna | Russia

I imagine a man, who is sitting on the grass and eating baguette.

A Pole
A Croat
A Luxembourger
A Latvian
An Italian
A Swede
A Portuguese
A Dane
An Estonian
A Hungarian
A German
An Englishwoman
A Greek
A Slovene
A Maltese
A Belgian
An Austrian
A Bulgarian
A Czech
A Lithuanian
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A Romanian
An Irishwoman
A Frenchman
A Cypriot
A Dutchman
A Finn
A Spaniard
fresco - Love your neighbor

How do you picture your European neighbours?

This is what we asked to nationals from the 28 EU countries. Drag the missing pieces into the fresco to discover the films. Stereotypes? Truths? Fantasies? It's for you to see.

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