Semaine de la Critique de Locarno, IDFA,Göteborg Film Festival, Black Movie Festival International de Films Indépendants.
Forty protagonists, witnesses and victims, look back at the 1989 massacres on both sides of the Senegal River, the border between Mauritania and Senegal, in order to understand what really happened, and try to take a step towards reconciliation together.
In Africa, since colonisation there have been frontiers running for hundreds of kilometres in straight lines across the desert. Others take a geographical feature as their pretext, for example the course of a river. When a frontier is invented, groups of people are divided. This is what happened to the inhabitants of Mauritania and Senegal from 1960 onwards. That river frontier, as well as being arbitrary, was superimposed on deeper divisions. Arab and Berber herdsmen had been fighting since ancient times with black farmers on the river banks. In April 1988, the flocks of some Mauritanian herdsmen went to graze for the millionth time on the land of Senegalese farmers. Three years of war followed, on both sides of the border. Tens of thousands of people were brutally killed. Thousands more were expelled and never returned. Alassane Diago, who was three years old when the war began, talks to Abdoulaye Diop, who has not returned to Mauritania since then. This is the prologue to this film, which also aims to serve as a provisional act of reconciliation. Alassane brings together witnesses and survivors on the Senegalese side of the river, wrapped in the most beautiful fabrics you have ever seen, in the shade of the ginkgo trees, under a small fabric canopy. If words can be as eloquent as gestures in this place, it's because they're surrounded by an attentive silence. Outside, life shines beside the water, chores, animals, children.