The Road to Life
Northern Nigeria. Maryam is 11 years old. Her family fled from Bama to Maiduguri and eventually came back when the army liberated the town from Boko Haram.
Muhammed, a fisherman in his forties, lost everything after the fighting around lake Chad. He resettled in Zabarmari and was able to start a fish farming project with the help of an NGO.
These are just two tragic stories among millions across Borno State and beyond. A documentary about survival and dreams for a better future in a crisis hit region.
A film written by Judith Rueff, directed by Judith Rueff and Moïse Gomis.
Produced by FACTSTORY with the support of the European Union.
In Production from December 2020 to April 2021 in Borno
Camera: Fati Abubakar
Translation: Hamza Suleiman / Fati Abubakar / FRAMEDIA
Original music: Marius Orjollet
Editing: Julien Loustau
Editor-in-chief: Yann Ollivier
Colour grading: David Chantoiseau
Sound Mixing: Régis Diebold
This film was shot in the middle of a conflict zone, in Borno State, epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency. While the team was spending time with our main characters, violent attacks rocked the regional capital, Maiduguri and its surroundings. Nevertheless, our characters never abandoned their hopes and kept living their daily lives in an astounding serenity. This serene atmosphere in the middle of a conflict zone, despite the horrendous events our characters have experienced and witnessed, is what makes this documentary so special.
Behind the scenes...
From September to December 2020, we did research: both scouting for locations and for pre-interviews with the characters. We filmed in Borno from December 2020 to May 2021.
The team consisted of one co-director who stayed in France (due to the pandemic), as well as one director/cameraman, a camera operator and a stringer in the field. A team of translators was in charge of translating all the interview material gathered in Hausa and Kanuri. A cartographer and an animator worked on the cartographic animations.
After the first filming session, the crew contracted typhoid fever and one of the main characters was hospitalised due to malaria... Many Boko Haram attacks happened in Maiduguri and the region during the filming, and a very strict security protocol was put in place to ensure the team’s security. Overall, everything ran smoothly.
Post-production was completed in May-June 2021.