The Last Shelter (Le dernier refuge), dir. Ousmane ZoromÃ© SamassÃ©kou, France / Mali / South Africa 2020, 85 min., French / Bambara with English subtitles
Dedicated to his Uncle Amadou, who embarked on a journey to Europe almost 32 years ago without leaving a trace, Ousmane Zoromé Samassékou’s The Last Shelter focuses on the House of Migrants – a waystation on the edge of the Sahara for those committing to their journeys across and/or out of Africa, and a stopover for those preparing to return home.
Among the many stories are those of Esther and Kadi, two teenage girls from Burkina Faso en route to Algeria. The girls discuss their anger and frustration at the dashing of their youthful dreams of being able to express themselves through music, art, education or sport. They long for a better life while grappling with external influences, exposed to narratives dropped by western culture. Another recurring presence is the desert itself – treacherous and elemental. In juxtaposing this arid wilderness with the relative safety of the shelter, Samassékou presents us with a portrait of the migrant journey that is both intimate and vast.
This screening is a UK premiere and is followed by an online Q&A with director Ousmane Zoromé Samassékou, hosted by film director and producer Sophie Fiennes.
Also on Wednesday: