I appreciate handling the difficult topic, which might serve as an eye opener for those looking down on immigrants or opposing illegal (or legal) immigration. There are some truly poetic moments, filled with nostalgia, hope and despair - mainly the discussion by the campfire. It doesn't seem to work well as a whole though - the different parts feel fragmented, awkwardly put together.
A minimalist, ecovative and touching portrait of human dilemmas, expectations, ethical demands, prejudices, existential aporia, set in the context of a social milieu plagued with material deprivations of sorts. The plight of men is treated with dignity and the ending compresses the drama with economy and symbolic resonance. Highly recommended.
4.1 stars. I felt more human for having watched this, which is an amazing thing cinema can do. Anyone who has mouthed off about illegal immigrants should watch this, as should anyone who has had friends to help ward off the darkness. It's rare to find an object that looks more beautiful shot on grainy digital than on film, but Diop succeeds with (what I believe to be) the rotating lamp and lens of a lighthouse.
A short film from Mati Diop that shows some Senagalese friends discussing the perils of their journey, this is slight but just intriguing enough to be worth your time. It perfectly illustrates the risks taken by illegal immigrants and what people are willing to risk for a new life that is far from guaranteed to work out well for them.
Quiet power. A sort of micro-verite, like a 16 min zoom into (beacon onto) these actual moments being had in Senegal. (Registers a bit, sensorily, like the memory of being there.) And to hear these young men expressing so frankly (because that's how you express your reality) emotions that we recognize get to stay, for most of us watching, mercifully untapped... The lighthouse beacon shots at the end were beautiful.
An intriguing story; however, the film never reveals anything about the lives of its subjects. Who is their community? Where do they live? The fireside dialogue felt like listening to someone talk too long around a campfire. I did enjoy the juxtaposition between the opening close-up of the recorder, and the wide shot of the small boat drifting in the ocean. The use of mixed media was also a welcome sight.