Wilaya

Pedro Pérez Rosado
Spain, Western Sahara 2011 | 88 Min. | OmU
Q&A with: Pedro Pérez Rosado

Fatime­tu is born to a Sahrawi family in a Saha­ran refugee camp in Alge­ria and later sent to live with foster par­ents in Spain. After the death of her mother she returns to the camp. She has been absent for six­teen years. Her broth­er now expects her to stay and look after her sister Hayat, who has dif­fi­cul-ty walk­ing. Fatime­tu, who unlike the other women can drive a car, finds work trans­port­ing ani­mals, meat and bread from one admin­is­tra­tive dis­trict to anoth­er. In time, the Sahrawi people become ac-cus­tomed to the woman who tears about the desert with­out a hijab in her beaten up jeep. But Fatime­tu is torn between life in the desert and her mem­o­ries of her family and friends in Spain. The Sahrawi are a Moor­ish ethnic group in Alge­ria that is still wait­ing for the ref­er­en­dum that will define their status un-der inter­na­tion­al law. Told in con­cen­trat­ed, poetic images, Pedro Pérez Rosado’s staged film does not only give us the story of two reunit­ed sis­ters or the clash of two dif­fer­ent cul­tures; he also allows his Saha­ran pro­tag­o­nists to describe in their own words their polit­i­cal and social predica­ment.