This documentary gives us a window into the lives of several women living in the Saharawi refugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria. The older generation fled from their homeland in Western Sahara during the Moroccan occupation, beginning in 1975. They built these camps into the cities they are today, and have been living in them ever since, separated from their families by a landmine-laden wall and an oppressive regime. Their children grew up here, and most have never known another home. They study, work, and help to take care of their families. Upon first glance, it looks like a normal life. But, as we discover through the course of the film, the population of these camps depends entirely on international aid for their survival. The corner of the desert that they have been relegated to is dry, barren, and unable to sustain life. Their choices are few. They want their freedom, and the freedom of their brothers and sisters still living in the occupied territory.
Watch the teaser, which won Best Documentary at the Santa Fe Three Minute Film Fest
Our hosts for this mini-version of the documentary, Najla and Agaila, are examples of these two generations of women. They are neighbors and good friends: Najla regards Agaila as a role model, and Agaila treats Najla like a daughter. The contrast between their lives represents the space between two generations, and the effects of a lifetime of living in exile.
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