The Catalan film-maker Xavi Herrero presented his new feature Salka, In No Man’s Land at the 23rd DocsBarcelona film festival. This, his fifth film, is about the journey of a young woman, Salka.
Salka lives in Mauritania, one of the poorest countries in the world. Hoping for a better future, she decides to emigrate to Europe. Disguised as a man, she begins her journey to the Atlantic coast by boarding the SNIM-company desert train. 700 kilometres across the desert, with temperatures rising to 50° C. But there is also very real danger: the border area between Mauritania and the Western Sahara is a true “no man’s land”, with frequent raids by the Moroccan army.
In the SNIM wagons industrial materials travel alongside people looking for a new future. Silent anxiety can be read on the faces. There is almost no dialogue. The only voice is off-screen, punctuating the journey with Sahrawi poems.
Salka, In No Man’s Land is a Mauritanian and Spanish production (Ibizacinefest). It was made with the support of three NGO’s: N.A.D., Proyecto Colibri, and Un lápiz, un dibujo. The documentary is in Arabic, French and Spanish.