At a quarry in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, around 2,500 men, women and children break stones all day long. It’s backbreaking, monotonous work for an appallingly low wage. Intermediaries take most the profit.
The miners are a forgotten group, living in medieval conditions. But when the young filmmaker Aïcha Boro visits them, what she finds isn’t just abject misery, but also dignity, resilience, love and humor. A born leader, the young Ablassé sets up an association. The united workers circumvent the middlemen to receive more for their work. There’s enough money to purchase equipment, and perhaps even to provide toilets. Thirteen-year-old twins go to school for the first time, and the boys each get a bicycle. “I would also like shoes,” one of them says. ”And a cell phone.”
All that glitters is not gold in Balolé, the Golden Wolf. That said, a contagious optimism prevails in this frank portrait of people who refuse to be marginalized.