To meet the people of Mafrouza is a powerful experience. I have rarely seen people who seem to resist fear and sadness in the same way. In the middle of a setting that embodies disaster, they find ways to laugh and find the time to take a true interest in others. It is as if the characters in Beckett decided it was better to laugh it off. They seem driven by an incredible life force, something like a mad capacity for happiness. It is comforting to encounter this, and it is this that made me want to make the film.

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