From a helicopter, an indistinct ribbon is tracked using radar. Like a column of ants, a group of refugees leaves a trail across the landscape. A camera on the ground then records how the group, screaming for freedom, attempts to scale barbed wire-topped walls behind which hard-handed police await them, wielding batons and other weapons. The refugees are in the Spanish enclave of Melilla in Morocco, one of the most popular places from which migrants leave Africa to make the perilous crossing to Europe. Once in the enclave, they have the right to apply for asylum in Spain. Diary of Hunger observes their everyday reality in calm black-and-white images. A shot of a mangled back, a leg covered in huge bandages, an exhausted face, a man calling his mother, in tears, to say that the great suffering is finally over. In the second part of the film, refugees on both sides of the barbed wire talk directly to the camera: describing their abysmal living conditions in the woods of Gurugu Mountain in Morocco, addressing their loved ones, dreaming aloud of a future in which they can once again work normal jobs, and making urgent appeals to the aid workers.
Rafael Montilla for Agosto
Alejandro Gianni Tognarelli