Within a few months, the Kutupalong refugee camp has become the biggest in the world. Out of sight, 700,000 people of the Rohingya Muslim minority fled Myanmar in 2017 to escape genocide and seek asylum in Bangladesh. Prisoners of a major yet little publicized humanitarian crisis, Kalam, Mohammad, Montas and other exiles want to make their voice heard. Between poetry and nightmares, food distribution and soccer games, they testify to their daily realities and the ghosts of their past memories. Around them, the spectre of wandering, waiting, disappearing. In this place almost out of space and time, is it still possible to exist?
A word from Tënk
Wandering, A Rohingya Story begins with Kalam, a resilient teenager who is haunted by what he is escaping and who continues to live with night terrors as a result. We are lulled by his poems as a sort of Ariadne’s thread towards the residents of the Kutupalong refugee camp, survivors of atrocities now at a standstill in this open-air prison. Awaiting a future without real possibilities, as much for each family individually as for the Rohingya as a whole, they are stateless people, without passport or nationality, who don’t exist in the eyes of the world.
But life opposes ghosts. It is via children that it filters through and continues in spite of everything. Life springs forth, whether through a game of soccer played in a puddle, kites flying free in the sky, or an improvised dance to the simple music of a cell phone. We oscillate between gravity and moments of living, realism and poetry, darkness and light. Mélanie Carrier and Olivier Higgins, in collaboration with the photographer Renaud Philippe, deliver to us a sensitive work, replete with impressionistic accents, and filled with a great humanity.
Project manager, professional section
Carrousel international du film de Rimouski