The Road to Life

Northern Nigeria. Maryam is 11 years old. Her family fled from Bama to Maiduguri and eventually came back when the army liberated the town from Boko Haram.
Muhammed, a fisherman in his forties, lost everything after the fighting around lake Chad. He resettled in Zabarmari and was able to start a fish farming project with the help of an NGO.
These are just two tragic stories among millions across Borno State and beyond. A documentary about survival and dreams for a better future in a crisis hit region.

  • Judith RUEFF
  • Judith RUEFF
  • Nalemane Moïse GOMIS
  • Fati Abubakar
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Society, Crisis
  • Runtime:
    33 minutes 2 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 30, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    100,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Judith RUEFF

A former independent journalist in Moscow (1994-1997), Judith Rueff started her career in the written press before joining French newspaper Libération (1999-2007). She spent 4 years in Abidjan as Libération's Western Africa correspondent. After Libération, she then moved to TV journalism, working mainly for the Dessous des cartes geopolitical weekly program (Arte). Her début feature documentary was shot in Cameroon in 2014.

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Director Statement

This film was shot in the middle of a conflict zone, in Borno State, epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency. While the team was spending time with our main characters, violent attacks rocked the regional capital, Maiduguri and its surroundings. Nevertheless, our characters never abandoned their hopes and kept living their daily life in an astounding serenity. This serene atmosphere in the middle of a conflict zone, despite the horrendous events our characters have experienced and witnessed, is what makes this documentary so special.