«All our hope is in the rain,» says a farmer in The Great Green Wall. For 27 years, he has been working the land in Senegal, but because of increasing droughts and desertification, yields are dwindling. Africa’s semi-arid Sahel region, a belt below the Sahara stretching across the continent, is on the frontlines of climate change, its degradation driving resource scarcity, mass migration, and conflict. The young are turning to a new mantra: «Go to Europe, or die trying.»
Many prefer to risk the hugely dangerous journey via Libya over the prospect of a future with nothing to eat for their families. The documentary, which has its World Premiere at Venice Film Festival, outlines a third option to starvation or exile, one that depends on collective action. The Great Green Wall is an initiative of the pan-national African Union to replant trees, creating a mosaic of restored lands to combat the effects of environmental crisis.
Jared P. Scott is attached as director to The Great Green Wall, but the real face of the film is Mali-born musician and activist Inna Modja. We join her as she takes the 8,000-kilometre journey across the region from Senegal to Ethiopia. Her aim is to collaborate with musicians along the way, creating an album that incorporates the region’s cultural traditions, which will raise funds for Great Green Wall projects. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is a backer, and City of God director Fernando Meirelles is on board as Executive Producer. It’s a slickly packaged multi-media push to spotlight the …
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