A Country in a Corner

  • Neema Ngelime
  • Belgium, Hungary, Portugal, Tanzania
  • 2021
  • 16 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

Homesickness drives Neema Ngelime to the district of Matonge in Brussels, which is home to a large African community. The busy shopping streets evoke memories of her life in Tanzania. She wants to record the similarities with her native land for her grandmother, but that is easier said than done. As in Tanzania, most people on the street prefer not to be filmed. Yet, Ngelime gradually gets closer to the shopkeepers and customers of Chaussée de Wavre, and shares her observations with the viewer.

Ngelime sees that the stifling morality she recognizes from Africa has also been transported to Belgium. She explains that respect for women in Tanzania is measured by the length of their skirts. The hairstyle you choose also shows how you want to be respected. At her every stop, from the hairdresser and nail salon to the grocer’s, Ngelime is obliged to make choices: will she follow tradition or take her own path? She wants to be part of the community, but at what cost? “I wish, as with a skirt, we could alter parts of our country we don’t like.” Without passing judgement, A Country in the Corner shows the dilemmas migrants face worldwide.


  • 16 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Swahili
  • Subtitles in: English
Neema Ngelime
Neema Ngelime, DocNomads
Faizan Ali, Jamil Alvi
Clarisse Decroyer, Neema Ngelime
Faizan Ali, Neema Ngelime

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

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IDFA history

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