1th DMZ Docs(2009)
I AM DOCU
Documenting migrants who left their old life behind but haven’t reached what they have been dreaming of, Hotel Sahara is a film journey to the last invisible border separating the West-African coast and Europe. The bleak city on the Atlantic Coast is a point of arrival and of departure, a gathering place of broken dreams–a place of waiting for that better life on the far side of the Atlantic. It is, above all, a place of endless waiting and endless hoping. Nouhadibou is a transit location thousands of immigrants on their way to Europe. Travellers from Sub-Saharian countries arrive in this melting pot which has been a platform of human traffic for centuries. The film reveals how difficult it is to differentiate between “true” and “false” refugees. Is one “real” only when threatened life and limb? What if one simply desires to escape a deadening lack of perspective? With an observant and cautious eye, Hotel Sahara offers an intimate inside look into this place of waiting, of hope, of unfulfilled dreams, of invented and true stories, of double identities. It shows how closely the dream of a better life is linked to sudden stagnancy, and how much patience is required to wait for years to finally, perhaps, arrive somewhere.
Bettina Haasen was born in 1969, and studied African Languages and Political Sciences in Hamburg and Paris. In 1997, during her work as a producer for the documentary production company EGOLI Films in Berlin, she started working on her own film projects. Hotel Sahara is her first feature-length documentary film. She currently lives as a freelance author and director in Berlin and works on her first feature film screenplay. Hotel Sahara (2008) Ma Vie. Irene Dische (2007) Shadow of the Desert (2006) Fremde Liebe (2004) Sisters of a Long Night (2004)
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