Has God Forsaken Africa?
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.