A poetic protest: that’s what famous Senegalese director Moussa Sene Absa calls his first documentary. Told from an African perspective, he tells the fatal story of eleven young men who set out in search of a better life in Spain. In a consistent and characteristic style, this grand master of film explores the interaction between the global economy, national politics and the personal dreams of individuals.
In April 2006, a small boat was found drifting aimlessly along the eastern coast of Barbados. Local fishermen left the boat alone for many weeks, assuming it had something to do with drug smuggling. It later emerged that the boat contained the bodies of 11 Senegalese people who had set out to Europe four months earlier. In Senegal, it is not unusual for young people to embark in a rickety vessel in search of money and happiness. Director Moussa Sene Absa is himself Senegalese, and was in Barbados when the boat was discovered. He returns to his homeland to explore the stories of the young men who risk the voyage. Surrounded by the slum dwellings and other dilapidated buildings in the ghetto, the young adults talk about poverty, hunger, politics, corruption, Western Union, and Western paradise. Archive footage of a party conference with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who represents the political elite, is interspersed with scenes featuring local songs, rap and poetry.