Dreams of Dust
With his deeply cathartic and intransigent drama Dreams of Dust, Laurent Salgues takes an unflinching look at life in a hellish African gold-mining community. For countless hours, days and weeks on end, the employees of a mining camp burrow long tunnels into the sand in search of increasingly elusive nuggets. When one is found, economic circumstances improve for all; when the tunnels collapse, the workers lose their lives, new teams are reeled in, and the process begins anew. Yet Salgues unveils a core of dignity at the story's center, personified by two characters - the Nigerian farmer Mocktar, still reeling from a personal tragedy, who nevertheless demonstrates astonishing tenacity by climbing into the scorching tunnels each morning; and his female counterpart, the gorgeous Coumba, also reeling from a disaster - the sudden, unexpected death of most of her family, and her consequent need to raise her daughter on her own. Amid a difficult, threatening environment, these two quickly find soulmates and a ray of hope in one another.