The Last Shelter

Director: Ousmane Samassékou

France/Mali/South Africa, 2021



The House of Migrants in Gao, Mali, is a refuge at the southern edge of the Sahara desert. It welcomes those in transit towards Algeria in the north, or on their way back after a failed attempt to make it to Europe. When Esther and Kady, two teenage girls from Burkina Faso, arrive to regain the strength to continue their journey, they form a friendship with Natacha, a migrant woman in her forties whose memory fainted over the years, along with her hopes of regaining her home. The trio finds a semblance of family life, sharing moments of joy, hope and tenderness. But the girls can’t shake the dream of a future abroad, even when their journey collides with the ones who came back, burdened by failure and trauma. The house, like a rampart made of fragile walls, can hardly resist the call of the desert, its distant murmur whispering stories of dreams and nightmares.

About Director

Ousmane is a partner in DS Productions in Bamako, where he is a producer, director, director of photography and editor. In 2015, he completed his first feature-length documentary, film on the evils that hinder training and education in Mali: Les héritiers de la colline, which won the Grand Prix du Jury at the Agadir Festival and special mention of the Jury at the AMAA Awards. His latest feature-length documentary The Last Shelter was presented at the IDFA Forum in 2019 and as a rough cut in 2020. As co- producer of Aïcha Macky’s film Zinder, he participated at la Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde at the Cannes Film Festival. In October 2018, he won the producer networks grant at the Ouaga Producer Lab with the project Tonso.


Camera: Ousmane Samassékou

Editing: Céline Ducreux

Sound: Adama Diarra

Music: Pierre Daven-Keller

Producer: Estelle Robin You, Andrey Diarra, Don Edkins, Tiny Mungwe


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