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Heddy Honigmann’s documentary The Underground Orchestra is largely set in the tunnels of the Paris subway, where refugees and illegal aliens briefly forget their banishment and loneliness seeking refuge in music.
In Het ondergronds orkest (The Underground Orchestra) the documentary maker Heddy Honigmann travels the Paris metro where political refugees and illegal immigrants briefly forget their exile and homesickness in the music that is also their living. The crew was not allowed to film in the metro so, alongside the clandestine shots, the film was also made above ground. Here the lives of a singer from Mali, a Venezuelan harp player, a violinist from Sarajevo and others continue in poverty-stricken hotel rooms or cramped apartments under the eves of Paris. The musical themes gradually come to the surface in the film as the music is recorded in a studio, concerts are given and there even turns out to be a veritable 'underground orchestra' at the Place des Vosges.