LES SAUTEURS / THOSE WHO JUMP
HÅBET BAG HEGNET
The most award-winning Danish (and Scandinavian) documentary of 2016
From Africa, Abou watches the fence and the future in Europe ahead of him. For over a year, he and thousands of other migrants have attempted to jump the enormous fence system that separates Morocco and Spain - a land border by the enclave Melilla. Behind the camera, Abou portrays the struggle for dignity and freedom on the militarized frontier.
In northern Morocco lies the Spanish enclave of Melilla: Europe on African Land. On the mountain above live over a thousand hopeful African migrants, watching the land border, a fence system separating Morocco and Spain. Abou from Mali is one of them – the protagonist in front of the camera, as well as the person behind it. For over a year, he has ceaselessly persisted in attempting to jump the fence.
At the fence, they have to overcome the razor-wire, automatic pepper spray and brutal authorities. After every failed attempt, they return to Mount Gurugú, scouring for food in the nearby villages, trying to uphold some sort of order in the camp and building up their confidence again. Some give up and return home, others never return from the fence.
Looking through the lens, Abou gradually finds expression and meaning in his situation. "When filming I feel that I exist". But after 16 months on the mountain, Abou is brought close to a tragic accident at the fence. Returning to Mali not an option for him, and he becomes more determined than ever to pursue his dream of a better life in Europe.
LES SAUTEURS, ultimately a film about making a film, is Abou's portrayal of the human struggle for dignity and freedom on one of the World's most militarized frontiers.