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Espoir Voyage| 1hr : 20mins
Director: Michel K Zongo | Producer: Christian lelong
Focus Years: 2011 | Country: France
Subject Tags: africa, economies, ethics, europe, france, identity, oppression, relationships
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
In Burkina Faso, the emigration of young people to Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is almost like a rite of passage to adulthood. Usually, the rule is to leave and come back. However, many are those who never return, and this, for various reasons, can be hard to understand for the families left behind. This was the case for Joanny, my older brother, who suddenly left our family one morning in 1978. After 18 years of absence, during which we never heard any news from him, one of our cousins came back from Côte d'Ivoire and told us that Joanny had died. In an attempt to understand what drove my older brother to leave his family and homeland behind at 14 years of age, I embark on the same voyage from Koudougou (Burkina Faso) to Côte d'Ivoire in search of his footsteps and his history. In this film, I go by the same bus on the same road as those who emigrate, just like I imagine my brother himself had done 32 years ago. On this route, through my encounters with those who are on their way to Burkina Faso and those already there, I collect their stories and reflections on breaking away, departure, and emigration in all its forms. How many people today are waiting for the return of a loved one who has left long ago? How many don't believe that a loved one who left one fine morning and never came back has died because they have nothing to mourn but a banal secondhand account? Who are the young emigrants who continue leaving for Côte d'Ivoire searching for happiness, not knowing what awaits them "on the other side," and that some of them will never return? Interwoven from beginning to end with these questions, this film is founded on my own voyage in search of my brother's journey, his motivations, his doubts and his wandering.

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