A beach reminds us of Fati’s recent past. She came to Italy by sea, without papers, pregnant for the fifth time. Longing for her children, she returned to Ghana six months later – without her husband. The people around her can’t understand this decision. “You’ve created a mess,” a friend says. “How do I tell people?” a sister asks. But Fati wants to provide for her family, even though she still has to liberate three of her children from the custody of her in-laws.
Numerous recent documentaries have been dedicated to the experiences of people who arrive in the EU and get caught in the degrading conditions of asylum politics, but this work by Ghanaian director Fatimah Dadzie offers a change of perspective. In Fati’s hometown, Europe is considered a paradise – and what fool would voluntarily run away from there? The decision has lost the returnee all prestige. Her social exclusion is shown here by relatives as talking heads, directly in front of the camera. But when the film overlays everyday images of care work or street hawking with Fati’s voiceover, it gives a voice to its steadfast protagonist.