12/08/2021

Ico Costa’s short documentary “Timkat” and Ousmane Samassekou’s feature documentary “The Last Shelter” were screened yesterday at DokuKino in Prizren. After a sudden rain, it was the perfect shelter to go inside one of the indoor cinemas in this city. Rightly so, these two films made the audience experience different cultures and experiences.

Costa’s short documentary film explored the long tradition of Timkat, a day in which Ethiopians celebrate the baptism of Jesus Christ in Jordan River. This tradition aims to save mankind. Imagery of clergies in their robes and people following the colourful festivities bring a sense of salvation and purification.

While documenting celebration, there is also a side of struggle and experience freedom of struggle and the belief in a higher power, pushing people to move forward in peace.

After the cheerful and mindful depiction of “Timka”, the audience got to see the feature documentary “The Last Shelter”, a film documenting a shelter house in Gao which welcomes people who want to escape from Africa. This shelter welcomes everyone in a zone where if you would be found in the next street, immigrants could be easily harmed and wounded.

Reflecting the tiring and deathly attempts to travel through the desert of Sahara and being found from this shelter, created a contradiction: leaving Africa for good to pursue their dreams and taking an extremely hard road to do so and the need to stay in the countries where you can be near your family but having no prospect in the future.

The different realities of colonisation and trying to escape the country to pursue dreams and do something of yourself are main themes in Samassekou’s film.

The director in the Q&A said: “I wanted to do a film about immigration, and this shelter in Mali is actually the main character, and it is a collective voice who speaks for individuals. This film is a tribute to the memory of my uncle.”

Then Sammassekou discovered the origin story of how he created this film and what the intentional directorial choices were behind.

He says: “I wanted to use allegory and metaphor to better describe and coin this situation. This shelter is a state of limbo for immigrants, and that’s what I tried to show. I firstly started to create this film by incorporating natural elements, the sky, the sand, water and then after I developed the theme”.

For everyone who is interested to look more into the program, visit DokuFest’s website online or look up at the program which you can easily find at DokuShop.