Duration: 85 min.
Country of production: Germany
Year of production: 2008
Director: Bettina Haasen
A dead-straight, endless road leading to nowhere. And at the end of the road: Nouadhibou, a town in the West African country Mauritania, bordered by the ocean on one side and the Sahara Desert on the other. A bleak and inhospitable departure point for the tens of thousands of people that pour in from neighboring countries, all with only one dream in mind: Europe.
Hotel Sahara is a film journey to the last invisible border separating the West-African coast and Europe. The bleak city on the Atlantic Coast is a metaphor, a point of arrival and of departure, a gathering place of broken dreams – a place of waiting for that better life on the far side of the Atlantic. It is above all a no-man´s land, a place of endless waiting and endless hoping.
The film reveals how difficult it is to differentiate between “true” and “false” refugees. Is one “real” only when threatened life and limb? What if one simply desires to escape a deadening lack of perspective? With an observant and cautious eye, Hotel Sahara documents how closely the dream of a better life is linked to sudden stagnancy, and how much patience is required to wait for years to finally, perhaps, arrive somewhere.