Senegalese film ’Io Capitano’ leaves audience in tears

Members of a 200-strong audience struggle to hold back tears as the credits roll on the film “Io Capitano” in a small auditorium in the outskirts of Senegal’s capital Dakar.

The crowd has spent two hours following a pair of Senegalese teenagers as they risk their lives to reach Europe, facing a gruelling journey across the Sahara, torture in Libyan jails and Europe’s indifference to their plight.

After winning awards at the Venice Film Festival and receiving nominations at the Oscars and the Golden Globes, the film has now returned to where the story began. 

The direct or, actors and wider team are embarking on a twelve-date tour of screenings across the West African nation with the Cinemovel foundation, scheduled to run until the end of April.

“This film teaches us that there are enormous risks involved in illegal immigration. The question I want to ask the audience is whether it’s worth risking your life to try to reach another continent,” asked an audience member after the film had finished, garnering a round of applause.

Mamadou Kouassi, whose own story inspired the script, responded from the stage.

“Everyone will have a different point of view. 

But my opinion is that there should be no hiding. Everyone should be free to move from one continent to another,” he said.

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