Tuesday 19 November 2019
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.theguardian - 10 days ago

Atlantics director Mati Diop: ‘As a mixed race girl, there’s a visible and invisible side of you

Full of teen ennui – and zombies – the director’s new film is not your typical migration tale. She talks about identity and a ‘magnetic’ trip that inspired herIn 2008, Mati Diop travelled to Senegal, the birthplace of her father, to make a short film about migration. Her cousin introduced her to some friends who were “thinking about crossing”; in other words, undertaking the dangerous boat journey up the west African coast and across to Spain. Diop was aware of the logical reasons that might motivate someone to take such a huge risk – namely, better financial prospects – but under the surface she detected something else. “I could feel a viral phenomenon,” she recalls. “Like: ‘My big brother’s doing it, this kid from the neighbourhood is doing it, so I’m gonna do it, too.’ I was shocked by the magnetic feeling I had from it.”The trip had a profound impact on Diop. One young man told her that “when you decide to cross the ocean, it means that you’re already dead”. She soon began to feel that the boys she spoke to “were not here any more”, and her perception of the country’s landscape began to alter. “I started to watch the ocean. I was not looking at it like I used to; it became like a grave.” Continue reading...

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