Three people looking for a better life become stranded in the desert with little hope of survival in this drama from Spain. Buba (Adoum Moussa) is an auto repairman living in Niger with his...
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A documentary that tackles the ideological conflicts surrounding the December 21 election in the country, to the push for sovereignty and subsequent parliamentary declaration of independence and the aftermath.
Luis María Anson,
Three people looking for a better life become stranded in the desert with little hope of survival in this drama from Spain. Buba (Adoum Moussa) is an auto repairman living in Niger with his brother Mukela (Illiassou Mahamadou Alzouma); their village is mired in poverty, and given Buba's talent as a football player, they decide to travel to Spain, where they believe Buba might have a shot at playing as a professional. Unable to travel legally into Europe, Buba and Mukela pay a smuggler $1,000 each for passage in the back of a panel truck into Algeria, where the can easily pass into Spain. En route, Buba and Mukela meet Violeta (Aminata Kanta), a teenage girl from Mali who is escaping an arranged marriage with a man she hates. During the trip into Algeria, the three begin to have doubts about the smugglers, and their fears become reality when they're dumped in the desert fourteen kilometers from their destination. Buba, Mukela and Violeta are told that they're only a four hour walk away...Written by
"14 kilometers" is a touching movie depicting hardships and sacrifices that Africans are willing to take to fulfill their dreams of a better life across the Mediterranean. The story is full of miraculous coincidences, but on the other hand, isn't it true that one needs to have outstanding luck for such undertaking to succeed? Spain lies only 14 kilometers away from Africa, but crossing this distance is more difficult for Africans than for Europeans to cross the globe.
This movie is the second feature film of the Spanish director Gerardo Olivares. The three main characters are played by teenage amateur actors and either they are very talented or they were masterfully led by the director, because there are no false notes in their acting.
The movie shows adventures of Violeta, a teenage girl from Mali, who runs away to avoid being married to a lustful old man. Another character, Buba, is a talented football player, whose talent is wasted in his native Niger, so he sets off for Europe with his brother, who probably dreams of becoming his manager.
Of course, it is easy to complain about the movie's theme - maybe instead of trying so desperately to get to rich and prosperous Europe, people of Africa could try to change their native countries, so they become good places to live in? Because it is not like Africa is a doomed continent, in which civilized way of life is impossible to implement. It would be possible. The problem with that lies in minds of its citizens, who in their mass - as societies - have not measured up to civilized life. But this is not a documentary movie about problems of post-colonial Third World, so for me that complaint does not lower the rating of this picture. Africans migrate to Europe and that is a fact - the film shows how this migration looks like. No less and no more.
As I already mentioned, the storyline is not free from some oversimplifications and wishful thinking. It adds a little unpleasant dissonance to this - mainly tragic - plot. If the director wanted to shock the audience, suggesting that he is picturing a fictionalized story, which might have happened in real life, he should not in a moment introduce deus ex machina resolutions, because all the meticulously built realism will go astray. Or maybe I am a little bit exaggerating - and definitely this issue does not significantly alter the tone of the film, which remains a strong illustration of the modern Migration of Peoples. Despite these minor flaws I highly recommend this movie. As a bonus, you can watch amazing landscapes of exotic Africa.
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