The bustling Paris train station Gare du Nord is the main character in filmmaker Claire Simon’s documentary Géographie humaine.
Through her camera and the eyes of her friend Simon Mérabet, the viewer is introduced to various people in the station: a young British couple on holiday; a homeless woman who spent the night on the street; a window cleaner from Mali who goes home every year to see his wife and children; a shoe saleswoman with a master’s degree in finance who formerly worked as a state budget auditor in Algeria.
We are shown glimpses of travellers moving through the iconic building: people running to catch trains; others waving good-bye from the platform; a man bowed in prayer next to a vending machine.
As we watch the scenes unfold, one interview subject sums up the fascinating draw of the place: “It’s a never-ending coming and going.”
SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, May 2 (6 p.m.)