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International Programme 2014
Jikoo, a Wish Christophe Leroy, Adrien Camus

A Senegalese National Park. Farmers whose harvests are destroyed by warthogs and an administration that protects the animals for the tourists. The dark side of the safari boom.

Jikoo, a Wish

Documentary Film
52 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lucie Bruneteau, Romain Boutin, Christophe Leroy, Adrien Camus
Christophe Leroy, Adrien Camus
Christophe Leroy, Adrien Camus
Christophe Leroy, Adrien Camus, Lucie Bruneteau, Romain Boutin
Christophe Leroy
Christophe Leroy, Adrien Camus
Nothing calms the global middle classes’ conscience like the establishment of nature reserves, preferably in countries that we can confidently bully around in all other respects. Senegal, for example, whose fishing grounds are being cleared out by the EU. Making the “Delta du Saloum” national park at Senegal’s Atlantic coast a World Cultural Heritage site is cheap, good PR and brings ecotourists. The only drawback is that there are people living in the area, some of them for generations, who have found their own way of co-existing with nature and have good reason to doubt that the tourism can be sustainable.
“Jiko, a Wish” portrays this conflict between international agencies, as represented by the park management and its rangers, and the inhabitants of the village of Bakadadji. These people have a very simple wish: a fence, please, so they can protect their fields from marauding warthogs which they are forbidden to hunt under threat of punishment. Because of the ecology – at least as far as those involved understand it. But tens of millions of Euros and US dollars are disappearing down the drip filters of the national administration, which is why, alas, there is no money left for a fence. Let the peasants dance for the ecotourists instead, and then they don’t need their fields any more. What to do? The film does not answer this question. It only holds a mirror up to us.
Matthias Heeder