With all the news of migrants migrants migrants and advice to lock your doors before they sneak onto the back of your lorry…“Samba” is necessary gorgeousness.
“Samba”, co written and directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, is the story of Samba Cisse, a Senegalese migrant, and his fight to remain in France. He meets Alice who is working temporarily as an immigration officer as part of her recovery from a nervous break down. They fall in love.
The Home Office recently reported that the UK Border Force and the French authorities prevented more than 39,000 attempts to cross the English Channel illegally in 2014/15. These statistics are overwhelming. There is a mass exodus on as people risk their lives to escape the chaos ensuing in their countries: violence, persecution, poverty. People are paying to be transported away and then being treated as slaves, hundreds are dying left adrift on the Mediterranean. The rest of us don’t know what to do, but the statistics are fuelling fear.
Samba is therefore a gorgeous and necessary film. It does not ignore the desperation of the situation but it is funny. We witness the little details of people’s lives. They are running and hiding in order to try and re-find stability, security and happiness. They find each other and save each other. It is back to the basics of being human. Back to feelings, emotions, giving “migrants” a name and a personality. Reminding us that these are people’s lives. “Migrant”, “refugee”, whatever. One wild and precious life.
The whole cast is fantastic – they bring beauty, subtleness and light to this otherwise dark situation. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Tahar Rahim are two of my favourite actors, “Samba” is 100% worthy.