Hamada

Eloy Domínguez Serén

 

Lafdal, a young man in his early twenties, is sitting on the sandy ground, in the midst of a vast desert landscape. A bandana is covering his eyes while a bunch of rusty cars are speeding around him in circles, filling the empty space with huge clouds of dust. For every car that passes he names its brand and the year it was made. He scores 19 out of 25.

With her face covered by a heavily draped and colorfully patterned headscarf and dark sunglasses, Zahara looks straight in the eyes of the oily man in front of her. “Give me a job” she stubbornly demands. With great conviction and overwhelming energy she lies, and tries to convince him that she knows all about car mechanics. He does not believe her. To prove him wrong they get in a car and start the engine. The car does not go further than two meters before it coughs and promptly stops. “Damn, I knew how to drive before you stepped into the car, you are distracting me”, she yells.

In the huge driving seat of a water-tank truck a girl drives fast and holds tight to the steering wheel. Sweaty wisps of hair is glued to the forehead and she stares on the road ahead of her. Suddenly she starts to shiver, and a string of blood runs down her face. Mansura, sitting in the seat next to her yells “cut”, puts down the camera and and starts to frenetically clean the car seat with a napkin: “You can’t spill blood in my father’s car!”. She panics, while the actress bursts out in a laugh.

A minefield and the second largest military wall in the world separates this group of friends from their homeland that they have only heard about in their parent’s stories. They are called the Sahrawis, also known as the world’s most forgotten people, and have been abandoned in this refugee camp in the middle of a stony desert ever since Morocco drove them out of Western Sahara forty years ago. Trapped somewhere in between life and death, Mansura, Bashir, and Zahara refuse to be bothered by it. They spend their days fixing cars that can’t really take them anywhere, fighting for political change without response and making films about their image of the outside world that no one will see. Together they use the power of creativity and play to denounce the reality around them and expand beyond the borders of the camp.

Info & Credits

Directed by
Eloy Domínguez Serén
Produced by
Michael Krotkiewski
Cinematography
Eloy Domínguez Serén
Genre
Documentary
With support from
The Swedish Film Institute