Has God Forsaken Africa?

53 minutes 8.2/10 based on 5 votes

In this thought-provoking 2008 documentary, Senegal-born director Musa Dieng Kala returns to the working-class town where he grew up in the capital city of Dakar. As he analyzes the conditions and situations that young people face, he dares to ask this painful question: has God forsaken Africa?

Meet the “bench” where young people sit for hours at a time. Not because they’re lazy or lack ambition. The young men on the bench are willing to work, but there are no opportunities available. They do diligently the little they find to do—one is a tailor, another produces and distributes milk, another is a painter – but they see little advancement. And so they sit and philosophy and dream and yearn about another time and another place. Not everyone understands why they sit on the bench, though. More than one stops by to tell them to get up and get busy. But maybe sitting is their way of protesting against the unfairness of living in a country where nobody encourages you to dream big.

Leaving Africa has become a life-long desire for many – to live anywhere but there. To seek refuge from hardship and to escape poverty and hopelessness causes that many young Africans are determined to get to Europe. They see it as the land of milk and honey, the proverbial “Promised Land.” And they are willing to do whatever it takes to get there. For instance, in 2005 and 2006 more than 10,000 young people made their way illegally into Europe from Africa. They traveled by land, sea, and sky. Some gave up and died on the way to “freedom,” unable to cope with the severity of being an illegal immigrant slithering into an unwelcoming land.

Watch as the film tells the story five young adults seeking desperately to immigrate to the West at any cost. Musa Dieng Kala uncovers the pain and anger that rises up when helpless individuals are forced to come face to face with international indifference. Add to that the apathy of the leaders of a society that has been irresponsibly emptied of its resources. A leadership that is now incapable of meeting the basic needs of its people.  This deeply human film makes a strong case for a global ecology in which no nation or people will ever run the risk of being ignored or abandoned.

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Discuss This Documentary

  • button man

    never mind Africa lets work on are on country first,they need to stop shittin out baby’s why do they have sex if they are poor? stupid people deserve it

    • Sir_Rah

      BOOOOOO!!!!

    • Mark Twain

      There are times when I start to feel good about humanity’s prospects, that we have the collective intelligence and compassion required to avoid self-extermination. It doesn’t require much. Then I run across people like “button man” and realize we are all doomed.

    • jake

      So you have all the answers don’t you? There’s millions of people trying to help and fix the problem but you’re the one with all the answers. If there’s anything I’ve learnt in life it’s that the dumbest people think they know the most and the smartest people think they know the least. You’re a dumb redneck piece of fucking trailer trash and should shut your fucking mouth unless you know what you’re talking about but since you clearly have three brain cells between your head i don’t think that’s possible.

  • Sven Breugelmans

    Deities do not exist, therefore they cannot abandon.

  • NexisD DesuS

    First time I really been able to feel empathy towards Africans… I could picture myself like them with no hope of a future sitting on a park bench wanting to travel to green fields.

    I’m happy for the guy who got to Spain… I hope he tries hard and works hard and doesn’t fall in to crime and what not as this happens to teenagers in poverty everywhere they get bored… Hopefully he realizes he has a better chance at life now.

    I do feel though there are a lot of Africans who are just dumb as shit and really have no hope where ever they are put and will resort to crime but these boys didn’t seem like that seemed like average boys wanting a better life.

    Feel bad for the guy got defrauded I knew something like that was going to happen… probley his whole familys life savings arrhh.

    Still I have a distaste for the Africans who don’t even try and help themselves at least these boys are being proactive and applying for visa ect on the other side it’s a bit of a loss to their country that they left because they the ones that can make the society more civil and have their heads screwed on right.

  • dkassaca

    I grew up in Canada, finished high school and college in Canada But I am originally from Africa, came to canada when i was 14. Funny, Most people in North America think the whole continent of Africa is disease filled, warmongering and chaos countries. No one seems to know there are 54 countries in Africa, there are prosperous and happy people live there. Like, Morocco, Gambia, Egypt, Alger, Namibia, Gabo, Tobo, ……. Not every country is like Somalia, Sudan, South Africa or Libya.

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