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After the Crossing / Traverser

Joël Richmond Mathieu Akafou | 2020 | France, Burkina Faso, Belgium | 77’ | digital

In a style reminiscent of direct cinema, After the Crossing closely follows Inza, a young Ivorian man known to his friends as Bourgeois, who was also the protagonist of Akafou’s previous documentary Vivre Riche. Inza has survived the long and dangerous journey across the desert and the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe but now finds himself stuck in Turin, waiting for a chance to cross the Alps and reach France, where a former girlfriend might be willing to take him in. In the meantime, he relies on the hospitality of another lover, constantly making arrangements by phone while discussing his dreams and ambitions. The filmmaker immerses himself into the lives of Inza and his friends, intimately documenting the obstacles they face as they attempt to legalise their situations and make a living, and chronicling the strong sense of camaraderie amongst those who have shared similar experiences.

“My look at their migrant journey shows the lost illusions of these young African men. I tried to show how hard it was for them to make the journey, which is often full of death, loneliness and disillusion, as well as how painful it is, for those who manage to land on European shores, to realise how illusionary the Eldorado they believed in really is.” (Joël Richmond Mathieu Akafou)

In partnership with Wallonia-Brussels International