The Malian city of Gao has for decades been a peaceful haven for African travellers. Here, on the edge of the Sahel desert, lies the House of Migrants, which is the temporary home for thousands of people every year. The hopeful ones, who are on their way to Europe. And those whose luck ran out and who are now on their way back to their hometowns and families. The Malian documentary filmmaker Ousmane Samassekou listens to two young girls and a middle-aged woman lying in a small room and exchanging dreams and stories. Elsewhere in the house, young men are watching wrestling on TV. Samassekou’s attentive camera frames the faces, the voices and their stories in a uniquely beautiful and humane film about no longer having a home once you have set off. But the atmosphere in the house itself expresses the melancholy of exile through calm and sensual images. All around the city, new and old wars are taking place in the endless desert.
Ousmane Zomoré Samassékou is a Malian director and producer. Director of the film Les Héritiers de la colline in 2015, he studied at the Master 2 of documentary film making at the Gaston Berger University in Saint-Louis, Senegal in 2016-2017. In this framework, he directed the film Nataal and co-directed the graduation film Et notre Afrique sur Scène (Prix Panorama Saint-Louis en courts, Saint-Louis du Sénégal documentary film festival 2017), with Mireille Niyonsaba, Oumar Bâ, Joséphine Legeay, Yannick Edoh N’Tifafa Glikou, Mamadou Moustapha Sangharé and Olivier Téko Tanzafo. In 2021, his film Le Dernier refuge was selected in many festivals around the world. He is also a producer for DS Production (Bamako).