Winds of Sand, Women of Rock

Synopsis: This may be the last journey of Domagali, Amina and Hanne and their Toubou women's caravan in the Sahara. Each fall, armed with daggers, they leave the men behind and cross the desert to sell dates in Agadez to bring back the means to survive in the village for another year. This economic responsibility gives them a special position in their society. Yet, the increasing market pressure endangers their 'business'. How will their social status change?
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Nathalie Borgers
Production: Eurozoom
  1 nomination.
 
IMDB:
7.2
Year:
2009
93 min
4 Views

The camel died of an infection.

- The rope was too tight.

Who's the owner?

- Tenna.

Let's catch the little one.

- Yes, we'd better.

SOUTH SAHARA, NIGER

Let the camel stand up.

OK, unleash her.

This camel is upset.

Look for a calmer one.

Let the baby go to the other side.

Hold her tight, she's afraid.

The milk is flowing.

Stop her.

Amina, let me tie it here first.

Every year after the rains,

women from different camps

come together to travel,

taking one or two camels

and a few donkeys and goats,

if they have any.

They set off for the Bilma oasis

to harvest the dates.

Together, we go from here

to the Bilma oasis.

God bless you.

- And the dead of this world?

How are you?

- I'm fine.

Anything wrong?

- Everything's fine.

And you? You're OK?

- Yes, I'm fine.

How are you?

- How are you?

Nobody is ill?

- Everyone's fine.

How are your neighbours?

- They're fine.

Have a seat!

I'll leave in five days.

We'll come too, with some goats

to sell at the market.

The rest of the animals

will stay with our neighbours.

We'll start packing.

We have already stored our wood.

Now we must pack, roll the mats

and take down the tents.

Then we'll be ready.

I wanted to bring two goats

but they died during the storm.

Because of the rain?

- Yes, those three days were bad.

Two goats and a horse

died in the storm.

My God!

Really?

But you still own 2 donkeys?

- Yes.

So God protected you

from something even worse.

The storm ripped off the tent

and broke the horse's neck.

Blood came out of its nose.

Well...

May God help us

through our journey.

May God help us.

Mariama, what nice sand

in your hair!

Did you put it in yourself?

- No.

Who did?

- Dakko put it in my two big braids.

The daughter of Kondoi is beautiful

She belongs to a noble clan

You know, Amina, when the Kondoi girl

was kidnapped for her wedding,

her veil was loose and the men

were so struck by her beauty

that they forgot about kidnapping her!

- Really?

After the caravan

when will you go home?

Not before the end of Ramadan.

As late as possible.

So, you're "avoiding your husband",

as they say in the song.

What good is he to me?

Your parents gave you to the wrong one?

- Yes.

What's wrong with him?

- I don't want a man from the desert.

So, Mariama, you're a runaway,

you're fleeing your husband?

Mind your hand, mum!

My God, it's burning hot!

My bag is really heavy.

You are taking too many things.

It's quite full.

- It's too much.

It's big enough,

it can take all my stuff.

Why are you taking it all, Amina?

I want everything with me.

- Why?

I may need it all.

What did you say?

Are they worn out?

They're OK.

I think these batteries

will last the whole trip.

- Yes.

Leave at least

four strong branches here.

What?

- Leave four branches. Strong ones.

What are you doing?

Bring it here.

It's heavy.

- Why carry it, then? Give it to me.

Take another stick.

Have you not found your camel?

- Not yet.

If I find my camel,

we will leave together.

Yes, let's stay together.

When your camels finish drinking,

move them so mine can drink.

Yes, OK.

Women have always done the caravan.

We are not afraid.

We can take care of ourselves.

We know the road well.

We prefer to travel without men.

When we leave the men

take the other camels to the pastures.

From here to the Bezze Denga well

it's a 3-day walk.

From Bezze Dengato the Agadem well,

it's 2 days.

From Agadem to the Dibella well,

From Dibellato the Zoobaba well,

also 3 days.

From Zoobabato Bilma,

That makes 13 days.

But with the stops,

it takes up to 3 weeks.

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