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Sand Fishers

Le Chemin du Sable

Mali | 2012 | 72 minutes | Samouté Andrey Diarra

Having lost their jobs due to climate change and overfishing, a group of fishermen have been dubbed Sand Fishers, and now harvest wet compact sand and gravel from the bottom of waterways for use by the construction industry.

May 26, 2013
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The Bozo people of Mali are famous for their fishing and are often referred to as the "masters of the river." They have a recognized connection with the spirits of the water that their neighboring communities do not possess. The Niger River is the principal vein of Mali and especially the rapidly modernizing city of Bamako. The Bozos have been finding their pirogues (fishing boats) coming up empty, and in recent years many have transitioned to fishing for sand. While Mali has a lot of sand, the best for construction is found at the bottom of the river. The "fishers" must dive to the river bed and fill their pirogues with the premium sand for sale to contractors in Bamako. Director Samouté Andrey Diarra has crafted a superb examination of a rare profession that is born out of necessity and finite, both in terms of the resources of sand and the reality that machines will soon replace this unusual physical labor. With a mix of direct interviews and cinematic observation, Sand Fishers draws the audience in to this extraordinary world and presents a portrait of life that has to be seen to be believed.

Director Biography
Samouté Andrey Diarra is a filmmaker and producer from Mali. With Sand Fishers, Diarra is one of the few African directors whose works were shown at the 2012 International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

Sponsored in part by Delta Air Lines, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Mercy Corps

Packaged Films


In a house by the sea, a man finds himself unable to find inspiration for his art, until a mysterious woman arrives.
Director: Samouté Andrey Diarra
Premier Status: US Premiere
Country: Mali, France
Year: 2012
Running Time: 72 minutes
Producer: Samouté Andrey Diarra
Screenplay: Samouté Andrey Diarra
Cinematographers: Abdélah Coulibaly
Editors: Jean-François Hautin
Music: Zoumana Théréta
Website: http://www.smacprod.fr/Productions/HamoubeyaActualite.html
Filmography: Debut Feature Film
Language: Bamanankan, French
HasSubTitles: Yes
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