The Bozos in the West African nation of Mali have been renowned for many generations for their skill in the art of fishing. They know the waters of the Niger River better than anyone else, and they are on good terms with the water spirits. In recent years, however, their lives have become increasingly difficult, as fish stocks are declining dramatically due to climate change and drought. Gala is one of many young Bozo men who must leave their village and family and go upriver to make some money as a “sand fisher.” He fills his pirogue, a traditional wooden boat, with sand and gravel from the river. On arrival in the capital of Bamako, he trades the sand for use in the construction industry. The film follows Gala as he goes about his exhausting work, returns to his village and talks to his young sons. He urges them not to forget where their roots are, but it’s painfully clear that the Bozos’ traditional way of life is destined to disappear. Directed and produced by Samout√© Andrey Diarra and D’S Productions.

Sand Fishers

2012 ML 72 min
Festival Year: 2013
Types: Narrative
Topic: Global Perspectives, Sustainable Living