The Enemy

The Enemy is always invisible. When he becomes visible, he ceases to be the enemy.


The Enemy brings you face-to-face with combatants from three conflict zones: with the Maras in Salvador, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in Israel and Palestine. Their testimonies and confessions about their lives, experiences, and perspectives on war will allow you to better understand their motivations… and their humanity.

Discover the Making of
Karim Ben Khelifa’s 15-year career as a war photographer has been driven by an ever-more ambitious quest to address a crucial issue: what is the use of war images if they fail to change people’s attitudes towards war and the suffering and violence it causes? What is the use of these images if they fail to change our minds, if they don’t bring peace? The Enemy breaks with the media’s usual war imagery. By giving voice to those who carry violence within themselves, by letting them introduce themselves and explain their motives and dreams, this project not only confronts us with the perspectives of combatants, it also causes us to confront our own.
We make sense of the world through stories and we remember it through experiences. Karim Ben Khelifa

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The Virtual Reality Installation

Meet face-to-face with combatants in a virtual-reality experience where you will hear testimonies from both sides of the same conflict.

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Tour Dates

The Enemy - Immersive experience (VR) Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF)

November 2nd - November 10th 2018

more info

The Enemy - Tel Aviv International Film Festival

June 18th - June 24th 2017

Tel Aviv
more info

The Enemy - World Tour Premiere

May 18th - June 4th 2017

Institut du monde arabe - Paris
more info

The Enemy - North American Premiere at the MIT

October 5th - December 31st 2017

MIT Museum - Boston
more info

TThe Enemy: a virtual reality experience at Phi Centre

February 10th - March 10st 2018

Phi Centre - Montreal
more info

The Augmented-Reality App

Meet combatants in augmented reality through your smartphone. Hear testimonies from both sides of the same conflict and step into the community of The Enemy.

Available on Google Play, you can also download the app developped with ARKit on the App Store.
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How many are we?

155 000 Encounters
066 Countries
3 Continents
235 567 Users
Most Active Country États-Unis


The Combattants
The Installation

Making of

There were a number of challenges in creating The Enemy:

To access reclusive and often out-of-reach individuals active in armed groups. To come equipped with the right material and the best team. To create a simple backdrop, a neutral light, and a professional studio in difficult locations. To master the technology of 3-D scans, to explain it to the combatants, and to perform scans of each of them.

And while on location, to precisely record the body language of each of these men as they speak, as they move and as they look at me with eyes that say so much.

Then, back in Paris, to arrange all of these interviews by each tenth of a second and to put them in a spatial dimension. To integrate this material into a new form of journalism. To think, to test, to design, to rethink, to test again, to develop, to start all over again, in Montreal, New York or Paris. To boil down the countless conversations with producers, team members, engineers and techs, scientists, designers, and users to the essentials in order to create a genuine virtual experience of a face-to-face encounter. To build a fine-tuned tracking system. To detect one visitor, then three, then twenty. To bring individuals closer to you and to bring you closer to them through a headset or a mobile phone.

To move in synch as new technologies appear and evolve, to align our intentions with the hardware’s potential. To embrace the many unknown parts until they are no longer unknown. More than three years ago, we launched a production that brought my team and me to four continents. We invited more than 1,500 testers with very different backgrounds, ethnicities and origins. We presented parts of the work in academic settings, at festivals, and in schools. All of this to address one single question: Could I be you if I was on the other side? We make sense of the world through stories, and we remember it through experiences. What happens then when someone else’s story becomes your experience?

News Feed


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Electronic Press Kit


November 13, 2018
Entretien avec Karim Ben Khelifa par Fanny Agostino.

September 11, 2018
FMC Veille
“Un message à la fois simple et universel.”

March 3, 2018
CBC – The Bridge
Conversation with Karim Ben Khelifa – 54:00

February 22, 2018
“The stories are powerful. ”

February 15, 2018
Le Devoir
“Cette expérience de proximité […] nous renvoie le reflet des cloisons qui divisent les adversaires du monde entier, armés ou pas.”

February 15, 2018
Montreal Gazette
“The result is sobering, at times scary, and emotionally disarming. ”

January 6, 2018
Podcast Soonish
Conversation with Karim Ben Khelifa – 36:20

December 6, 2017
MIT Technology Review
“This VR Exhibit Lets You Connect with the Human Side of War”

May 23, 2017
FrenchWeb, le magazine de l’innovation
“The Enemy, a virtual reality experience that injects life into museums”

May 19, 2017
Le Courrier du Parlement
“War reporting of a new kind. The documentary of the future?”

“Thanks to this new perspective, members of the public become engaged participants in journalism.”

May 18, 2017
TV5 Monde
A not-to-be missed digital sensation

May 17, 2017
“The Enemy, or the virtual revolution in war reporting.”

“Experience war from the inside to better understand it, thanks to virtual reality.”

May 15, 2017
France TV Info
“The Enemy, a first in virtual reality”

October 27th 2016
The New York Times
“Meeting ‘the Other’ Face to Face By Randy Kennedy - The New York Times”

Then the portraits disappear, replaced by doors, which open. In walk the two combatants — Abu Khaled, a fighter for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Gilad Peled, an Israeli soldier ...

June 23rd 2016
The Jerusalem Post
“Editor's notes: Defining the enemy by Yaakov Katz - The Jerusalem Post”

It was in January 2009 and photojournalist Karim Ben Khelifa was visiting the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of Cast Lead, Israel’s first large-scale anti-terrorist operation since its unilateral withdrawal from the Palestinian territory four years earlier…

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Visitor's book

Thank you for helping us to see the human being instead of focusing on the war.

La, Tel Aviv

An unprecedented experience, in both form and content. A sensitive subject on which one thinks, wrongly, to have a point of view.

Asma, Paris

Overwhelming. I had a hard time coming down ... What a message and opportunity for self-reflection. Congratulations to everyone on the creative team for taking us on this journey.

Nancy, Paris

A fascinating experience! Perfectly captures the reality of war, and humanity.

Maxence, Paris

Amazing experience everyone should experience. Really eye opening and great way to use technology in an enlightening way for once.

Yasmen, Tel Aviv

Karim Ben Khelifa and his team have pushed documentary VR a huge way forward. The Enemy manages to lead viewers through a coherent, engaging experience for a full quarter tour. They've brought in structure and empathy as only story-tellers can.

Fergus Pitt, New-York

The Enemy is an unusual opportunity to see a fantastic new way to tell stories. (…) It takes journalism art and storytelling in directions I haven’t seen before.

Sree Sreenivasan, Toronto
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Financial support

A project by
Karim Ben Khelifa

Camera lucida team
    • Executive Producer

      François Bertrand
    • Line Producer

      Chloé Jarry
    • Project Manager

      Hélène Adamo
    • Production Manager

      Vincent Décis
    • Assisted by

      Silvia Alba
    • And by

      Caroline Bouffard
    • Production Assistants

      Thibault Bernard
      Ana-Maria de Jesus
      Matthieu Mainpin
      Alexandra Ternant
      Alessandra Bogi
    • Production coordinators

      Céline Delaunay
      Frédérique Dewynter
    • Production administration

      Valérie Sieye
      Anthony Donato
      Stéphanie Garcia
    • VR experience distribution

      Hélène Adamo
    • Communication

      Hélène Adamo
    • Assisted by

      Charlotte Zipper
    • Graphic Designer

France Télévisions Nouvelles Écritures
    • Pierre Block de Friberg
      Céline Limorato
    • Antonin Lhôte
      Catherine Mugler
    • Production administration

      Sandrine Miguirian
      Vanille Cabaret
    • Technical Coordination

      Pascal Voisin
    • Communication

      Agnès Desplas
      Léo Fauvel
National Film Board of Canada
    • Executive Producer

      Hugues Sweeney
    • Producers

      Louis-Richard Tremblay
      Marie-Pier Gauthier
    • Production Managers

      Nathalie Bédard-Morin
      Marie-Pier Gauthier
    • Editorial Manager

      Valérie Darveau
    • Head of Technologies

      Martin Viau
    • Production Coordinators

      Caroline Fournier
      Dominique Brunet
      Perrine Bral
    • Administrator

      Marie-Andrée Bonneau
    • Technical Coordinator

      Mira Mailhot
    • Technical Support – Editing

      Pierre Dupont
      Isabelle Painchaud
      Patrick Trahan
    • Narration Recording

      Geoffrey Mitchell
      Luc Leger
    • Marketing Managers

      Paule Béland
      Tammy Peddle
    • Social Media Strategists

      Kathryn Ruscito
      Emilie Nguyen Ngoc
    • Press Relations

      Marie-Claude Lamoureux
    • Information technologies

      Sergiu Suciu
    • Legal Services

      Peter Kallianiotis
    • Line producers

      Fabien Barati
      Emmanuel Guerriero
    • Project Managers

      Didier Mayda
      Jennifer Havy
    • 3D Graphics

      Vanessa Jory
      Jean-Baptiste Sarrazin
    • 3D Animations

      Clotilde Steffen
      Christophe Devaux
    • Development

      Karim Guennoun
      Charles Taieb
      Clément Barbisan
      Vincent Ponsort
      Nolwenn Bigoin
      Antoine Ferrieux
    • Technical Experts

      Fabien Barati
      Anthony Bousselier
    • Executive assistant

      Sandrine Alexandre
    • Executive producer
      and Creative director

      Nicolas S.Roy
    • Production managers

      Geneviève Trepanier
      Stéphanie Emond
    • Artistic director

      Maude Thibodeau
    • UX and design

      Maude Thibodeau
      Raed Moussa
      Julie Delias
    • Main developper

      Paul Georges
    • Developpers

      Vander Amaral
      Guillaume Tomasi
      Julien Robitaille
Shooting in Israël / Palestine
    • Director

      Karim Ben Khelifa
    • Assistant director

      Sélim Harbi
    • DOP shootings

      Jean-Gabriel Leynaud
    • Assisted by

      Quentin Esperse
    • Photogrammetry and 3D scan

      Fabien Barati
    • Location manager

      Eman Mohammed
      Rubi Makeover
Shooting in Democratic Republic of Congo
    • Director

      Karim Ben Khelifa
    • Assistant director

      Sélim Harbi
    • DOP shootings

      Jean-Gabriel Leynaud
    • Assisted by

      Quentin Esperse
    • Photogrammetry and 3D scan

      Fabien Barati
    • Location manager

      Adolph Basengezi
Shooting in El Salvador
    • Director

      Karim Ben Khelifa
    • Assistant director

      Sélim Harbi
    • DOP shootings

      Quentin Esperse
    • Cameraman and 3D scan

      Yoray Liberman
    • Location manager

      Paula Rosales
Post Production Unit Image and sound
    • DOP Unity enviromnent

      Lionel Jan Kerguistel
    • Translations

      Rhona Dumonthier-Finch
      Keren Gitai-Mock
      Bianca Jacobson
      Emmanuelle Ricard
      Elizabeth Young
      Gabrielle Lisa Collard
      Bronwyn Haslam
      Rhonda Sherwood
      Jovana Jankovic
      Anna Victor)
      Catherine Bélanger
      Crystal Beliveau
    • English voice for VR instructions

      Fanny Gautier
    • French voice for VR instructions

      Cassandre Manet
    • French and English Voice Over

      Alexandre Daneau
      Peter Michael Dillon
      Matt Holland
      Gabriel Lessard
    • Actor's agents

      Emilie Françoise
    • Vocal coach

      Benoit Rousseau
      Élise Bertrand
    • Assistant editor

      Guillaume Cage
      Vivien Casamian
      Arthur Muller
    • Sound recording studio

    • Sound engineer

      Philippe Chariot
      Bruno Lagoarde
      Matthieu Cochi
      nEric Wager
      Marie Muller
    • Head Grip

      Vincent Blasco
      Jean Chesneau
    • Tennessee Charles
    • Technical instruments

      Optitrack - Natural Point
Human-Computer Interaction producer
  • Dr. D. Fox Harrell
    Blues Identity Systems
Impact producers
  • Lina Srivastava
    Tina Ahrens
    • Trailer Director and editor

      David Fernandes
    • Assisted by

      Hélène Adamo
    • Trailer DOP

      Antoine Goetghebeur
    • Music

      Running out de David Tobin,
      Jeff Meeganet et Julian Gallant
      © A music
    • Trailer mixing

      Bruno Lagoarde
Trailer #2
    • Sound Editing

      Emmanuel Alberola
    • Montage

      Marie-Ève Talbot
Trailer #3
    • Editor

      David Fernandes
    • Video excerpts

      Jeffrey Trunell
  • Supported by the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée
    Nouvelles technologies en production et Fonds Nouveaux Médias
    With the participation of DICRéAM
    With the participation of l'INA
  • Supported by

    The TFI New Media Fund
    The Ford Foundation
    The Sundance Institute New Frontier Program
    The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts'
    Doris Duke New Frontier Fellowship and the Open Society Foundations
    The MIT Open Documentary Lab et le Arts Center for Art, Science and Technology at MIT
    Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée
  • The Enemy has also been supported by Google Digital News Initiative.

  • For their help and support during the entire production stage, productions teams and the author wish to thank:

    Voyelle Acker, Tina Ahrens, Antoine Allard, François Asseman, Pauline Augrain, Markus Badde, Antonin Baudry, David Beja, Pervenche Beurier, Ludovic Blecher, Léontine Bob, SokLinh Cheng, Olivia Colo, Maya Dagnino, Juan B. Diaz, Rémy Dorne, Mathieu Fournet, Aude Gauthier, Chantal Gishoma, Patrick Gonidec, Thais Herminie, Katherine Higgins, Ingrid Kopp, Jérôme Lecanu, Philippa-Jane Mothershill, Oumar N’Daw, Bruno Patino, Rémy Pflimlin, Alexis Raison, Christine Siméone, Kamal Sinclair, Michele Slatter, Caspar Sonnen, William Uricchio, Doug Weinstock, Sarah Wolozin.
  • The author would like to thank Boris Razon for his involvment to intiate the project.

  • Production teams would like to thank the following institutions for hosting VR experience user testing in their facilities:

    Le Forum des images (Corinne Béal et Michaël Swierczynski)
    L’IRI - Institut de recherche et d’innovation du centre Pompidou (Vincent Puig et Nicolas Sauret)
    Le Carrefour numérique² de la Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie (Bruno Maquart et Pierre Ricono)
    L’INA - Institut national de l’Audiovisuel (Kanele Bazin, Amandine Collinet et Marie Tomat)
  • Special thanks to

    Abu Khaled, Gilad, Jean de Dieu, Patient, Jorge Alberto et Amilcar Vladimir
© Camera lucida productions/ France Télévisions / ONF / Dpt / Emissive - 2017

Legal mentions

Camera Lucida

France TV