Documentary Screening at AstaroTheatro
Friday 8 November, 20:30
by Cristina Mantis
Finalist Premio Solinas
Supported by MIBAC. Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali
Winner of the prize RAI CINEMA
Supported by Amnesty International
The documentary film Redemption Song sings the song of redemption that the African Cissoko, dreams for his people and his land.
Having arrived in Italy, Cissoko, a war refugee, becomes aware of the startling number of deaths caught in the wake of his Mediterranean crossing, brothers who have perished and who continue to perish at sea while taking the same migration route. At the same time he observes the extreme precariousness and subjugation, in its various forms, that his immigrant brothers often experience in Europe, where their living conditions are markedly different from what they once dreamed.
Cissoko, therefore, decides to do something to convince his young brothers to not emigrate in search of false dreams, but to act only with a free mind, aware of the risks and real difficulties awaiting them. So it is with a small video camera that he begins to film what to his eyes is alarming. Later, upon returning to Africa, he will project the images in schools and villages, hoping to contribute to an awakening of his peopleto alert his fellow Africans of the terrible risks of this migration. Nevertheless, our refugee’s return journey soon transforms into a personal and collective reflection shared with his people.
The protagonist invites his people not only to free themselves from the “mental slavery” of the obsessive dream of reaching the West at any cost, but also urges them to reconsider the value of living in their native land, working together for its growth and fighting relentlessly for their rights. In wishing for a reversal to the diaspora, our protagonist often evokes the figure of Thomas Sankara for support. Sankara’s words “obsessed” with emancipating Africa from its colonial past-present still ring incredibly true; and, in fact, they often figure as the only solution for empowering an Africa ever fragmented by misery and wars, the resulting desperation of which continues to drive its people to undertake an uncertain and often deadly journey.
Nonetheless, despite the objective hardships of present-day African, our protagonist pushes on the accelerator of his creed. And, convinced of the need for true unity, Cissoko departs from Senegal’s Gorée Island (historic slave-trade departure point) to fly to the Brazilian quilombos where he will pay homage to the proud descendants of slaves still struggling to keep their African origins alive.
Entrance by Donation