Melilla is a land border between the African continent and Europe. A buffer zone where European migration policies can be read and seen. A place towards which converge, from Morocco, ‘those who burn,’ the ‘harragas,’ minors and young adults, eager to reach Europe. They have nothing to lose but want to live to the end.
Melilla is a Spanish autonomous city located in Morocco that connects the African continent with Europe through huge ferries. This particularity and proximity to Europe has made the city a place where thousands of citizens from North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa meet with the idea of emigrating to Europe. In Obscure night - Wild leaves (The Burning Ones, The Obstinate), the director portrays in impressive black and white the lives of young North Africans, whom they call Harragas, "those who burn" (in reference to the people who burn their ID cards to prevent from returning to their countries). The city of Melilla then becomes an endless waiting room where the story of many who risk their lives for the opportunity to emigrate takes place. This terrible situation in the world, and one of its biggest problems that still hasn't found a solution, are shown with respect, and even tenderness, in this bleak documentary. (Sung MOON)
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