Diago Alassane, F/SEN/GER, 2022, 105'
WORLD Premiere
Thu. 11.8.2022, 11h00, La Sala
Fri. 12.8.2022, 9h00, Palacinema 1

en / it / de / fr

How can trauma be put into words? In a collective tragedy like war, how much space is left for each individual experience of violence and loss? Looking at the scars left by history, is there hope for reconciliation?

Senegalese filmmaker Alassane Diago asked himself these questions about what happened in 1989 between Mauritania and Senegal, a conflict about which too little has been said, which caused thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of refugees, generated by economic and migratory factors, drought, and the impact of French colonisation, which created and exacerbated distinctions in particular between the black and the Arab-Berber population along the banks of the Senegal River. A river that has been the scene and witness of so much violence, which in Diago’s documentary serves instead as a discreet but significant frame, as a silent companion of a group of people gathered to recount what they saw and experienced along those same banks, 30 years ago, to affirm today that ‘the river is not a barrier’, as the title of the documentary states.

Men and women sitting in a circle have let bodies and names re-emerge from those waters for the precise purpose of remembering and handing them down, in assembly, in front of a camera, accepting the invitation to confrontation proposed by Diago. A film that, by reducing directorial intervention to a minimum and leaving aside the search for narrative contrivances, sums up the power of audio-visual documentation, of its function as a witness, intermediary, and guardian.

Chiara Fanetti