Sand Fishers

Samouté Andrey Diarra, Mali / France, 2012, color, video, 72'
Synopsis

The Bozos in the West African nation of Mali have been renowned for many generations for their skills in the art of fishing. They know the waters of the Niger River better than anyone else, and they are on good terms with the water spirits. In recent years, however, their lives have become increasingly difficult, as fish stocks are declining dramatically due to climate change and drought. Gala is one of many young Bozo men who feel compelled to leave their village and family and go upriver to make some money as a "sand fisher." Together with many others, he fills his pirogue, a traditional wooden boat, with sand and gravel from the river. On arrival in the capital of Bamako, the sand is brought ashore and traded for use in the construction industry. The film follows Gala as he goes about his exhausting work, and shows how competition is becoming increasingly intense - for his own people and for others. We see him on a return visit to his village and talking to his young sons. He urges them not to forget where their roots are, but it's painfully clear that the Bozos' traditional way of life is destined to disappear.

Wanted: Youth Jury! September 30, 2014 | Every year, a selection of films from the IDFA program compete for the IDFA DOC U Award, given out by a youth jury. Do you want to have a say about the winner, and are you between 15 and 18 years old? Then apply now!
IDFA 2014 presents theme program Of Media and Men September 23, 2014 | A theme program investigating the mediated interaction between the people and their governments will be presented at IDFA 2014. Of Media and Men encompasses a film program, several new media projects in IDFA DocLab and a Paradocs program curated by visual artist Aernout Mik.
In Memory of George Sluizer September 22, 2014 | With great sadness IDFA has learned of the death of Dutch cineast George Sluizer at the age of 82. Sluizer was a prominent voice in Dutch and international film culture, working both in documentary and in fiction.
IDFA relocates festival heart to Amstel September 16, 2014 | This year’s IDFA will for the first time be focused around the Amstel river. The main festival locations Pathé Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, EYE and De Brakke Grond remain, but the festival buzz will move to Café de Jaren and Café Swych on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Doelenstraat.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

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