// Presented as part of Filmatique's In Transit Series //
Spotlight on Hope
Boris Lojkine / 2014, Cannes, Busan, Istanbul, Montreal International Black Film Festival, Zurich / 86'
Leonard is a young man from Cameroon crossing the Sahara desert en route to Europe. After a punishing day of walking, a fellow traveler in the caravan is revealed to have been a woman passing as a man. Unlike the others, Hope is from Nigeria and her status within the group is now threatened, a matter made worse when she is singled out by a passing group of soldiers then left for dead. Leonard brings Hope to a refugee encampment in Morocco where she poses as his wife, binding their fate to reach Europe together.
Capturing the hostile landscape of the Sahara with haunting beauty and bracing naturalism, Hope weaves a tale of love and survival. Documentarian Boris Lojkine's first narrative feature premiered at Busan, Istanbul, and Zurich; Hamburg, where it won the Critics Award, and Cannes' Semaine de la Critique, where it won the SACD Award.
"[A] confident narrative debut… Shot in earthy shades of dusk and dawn, Elin Kirschfink's serene cinematography doesn't romanticize the landscape, but does find friezes of beauty in its severity. Extensive nighttime sequences might strike some viewers as overly dark, but their disorientation effectively mirrors that of the characters"
- Guy Lodge, Cannes Review, Variety