SELFISH - 40 humanitarian workers and their loved ones speak from the heart

A documentary by Stéphane Santini and Géraldine André, narrated by Lambert Wilson
Directed by: Stéphane SANTINI – Géraldine ANDRE – Laurence HOENIG – Pierre Yves BERNARD


This film is different in both its form and the way it was written.

War, emergency, pandemics and hunger. Humanitarian workers are used to working in the most varied and extreme missions and contexts across the planet. However, few of them venture openly into the world of personal feelings. For this film, forty humanitarian workers and their loved ones did just that, speaking without reserve about the risk, the commitment, the first mission, the sense of powerlessness, the encounters, the passion, the return home and the unspeakable things they’ve witnessed.

This film, which is logically about humanitarian workers’ commitment to other people, also explores the question of their selfishness in choosing to do this kind of work. Each person, in their own words, tells us about their feelings and experiences. Openly and straightforwardly, they tell us who they are and speak of their commitment to others, their doubts, their weaknesses and the images that haunt them.

In this film, the humanitarians are not the only ones to bear witness – the women and men who share their private and personal lives also tell their stories. The result is an original and intimate documentary that provides a fascinating insight into the inner worlds of humanitarian workers both in the field and away from the action.

MSF Opened its doors to us

Born of exchanges between humanitarian workers and the producers, the original idea took time to germinate and take shape. This film couldn’t have been made from the outside. We needed to enter the reality of this world and connect with the true feelings of the participants. So we asked Médecins Sans Frontières to open its doors to us. In allowing this unprecedented documentary to be made, MSF is lifting the veil on a way of life that is as gripping as it is unique, affording us an insight into the impacts of their life choices and the issues they face each day.


I was deeply moved by the images and testimonies in the film: the images, by their evocative power and sometimes their poetry. The testimonies, by their simplicity and sincerity. I did not come out of this film untouched. I am sure that it will be the same for the future audiences.

— Jean-Claude PACHE

It was so moving. The film is beautiful.

— Ally

Sharing these intimate moments was a real privilege. I hope this film reaches as many people as possible.

— Pauline

A very beautiful film, full of subtlety and complexity that makes you think.

— Romaine

An exciting and very moving insight into this commitment that is so fascinating and strange at the same time.

— Luc

A beatiful film filled with emotion and truth.

— Mavia

With this film we've come back down to earth. Magnificent selfishness opens to questioning.

— Carol

A long, long life to this wonderful code-breaking movie. A deep lesson in selfishness.

— Virginie

It's very strong. Sobering. Overwhelming.

— Lambert

This documentary is extremely touching... Through images and interviews, you have managed to show the complexity of humanitarian engagement, with humility and without filter.

— Virginie

What a hit! This movie should be seen by everyone, settled as we are in our comfortable daily life.

— Jean Charles

A film that is so touching and full of poetry.

— Gaëlle


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This film is available on a video-on-demand platform

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