The Last Shelter
(Le dernier refuge)
At the southern edge of the Sahara Desert lies the House of Migrants in Gao, Mali, the last refuge for countless African migrants before a daunting journey through seemingly endless sands toward Algeria—and, possibly, Europe (or, more probably, failure). Ousmane Zoromé Samassékou’s quietly intimate documentary observes those about to depart, such as two teenage girls from Burkina Faso, and those who have returned, foiled by police, thieves, Al Qaida, or the desert. Samassékou ends with a personal note: “In memory of my uncle Amadou, who left 32 years ago without leaving a trace.” “An arresting, artful, fragmentary portrait” (Jessica Kiang, Variety).