Arlit, the second Paris
"Arlit" is the portrait of a desert frontier town and of old Issa, who is taking his last trip back to Arlit to visit his son and his friends from earlier. Arlit developed thanks to the uranium mines and immigration, and was once a flourishing oasis, the goal of adventurers and the crossroads of numerous travel routes. The Touareg rebellion and the collapse of the price of uranium changed everything. Today Arlit is undergoing an inverse population trend.
"Due to its geographical situation – it's the last town in black Africa on the trans-Saharan route to Europe – it has turned into a favorite stopping-off point for those seeking to travel north from the south. The media in the West often view these people merely as illegal immigrants or undesirables. It's not often that they are seen as individuals with their own stories amidst the universal conflicts of misery, separation, exile, etc.. While I'm very aware of the naiveté of the Eldorado dreams of the Arlit illegal immigrants, I am also sensitive to the destinies of these men and women who left their families, their children and their loved ones in order to make this difficult, hazardous journey. How all these diverse directions come together to make a multi-ethnic melting-pot is what fascinates me." Idrissou Mora-Kpai
Production: Noble Films (Benin), MKJ Films (Paris)
Screenplay: Idrissou Mora-Kpai
Cinematographer: Jacques Bessé
Sound and sound design: Lardia Tchiombiano
Soundtrack: Amadou Sariki Nomma and the band Ferdewass Arlit.
Editor: Vera Memmi
Format/screen ratio: 35mm, 1:1.85, Color
Running time: 78 min., 24 frames/sec.
Languages: Bariba, Haussa, Tamasheq, French