• 90'
  • Authors : Charles Comiti, Julien Boluen
  • 25-10-2021
  • Master : 3113

UGANDA/CONGO, ON THE ROADS OF HELL | Case documentaire | France 5

Raise your children, support them until they can fly with their own wings… A universal story that is repeated around the world.

Today, that story begins in the suburbs of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. In a few days’ time, Charles is going to step from one world into the next. This young man may well be 23 and have six years of study behind him, but he will never be a man until he has been through his tribe’s ancestral enthronement ceremony. It is John Mark, his father, who will guide him to the land of their birth. Father and son must travel the whole country, from North to South, to return to their village. Impassable roads, wild animals or even enemy tribes… the road risks being long and strewn with pitfalls.

On the other side of the Congo, the rainy season is at its height. All that Sherman and Mugenya, Ugandan drivers returning to their country with their container loaded with food, lack is a windshield. Rendered impassable by the rains, the roads of the Congo are likely to present them with a stack of problems. Especially as the border is still far away and the bearings of their old truck seem to be shot. Under such conditions, their load could well rot and the drivers will have to reimburse the entire cost of any lost produce. An enormous shortfall that Sherman simply cannot afford… It’s the start of a dangerous race against time and the elements.

In Uganda, it’s not just on the roads that life is tough. Deeper into the country, Josiane and her seven children struggle in the hope of a brighter future. Once lessons are over, the little family heads for Lake Katwe, the country’s only source of salt. Every day, and for long hours, Josiane and her children exhaust themselves treading the white gold before cleaning it. “It’s our only source of income.” Their dream: to earn enough to continue their studies in the hope that, one day, they can free their family from need.

Uganda also means glorious landscapes and treasures that are unique in the world. The country contains nearly 60 protected areas all by itself, some of which are registered as UNESCO world heritage. The most precious of them: the Bwindi forest, home to the legendary mountain gorillas. Nicknamed “the eagle of the roads”, Geoffrey’s task is to  drive three forest rangers to the reserve. Secretly, he’s hoping to catch a glimpse of the gorillas that he heard so much about when he was a child. But getting to them is no easy task…

Whether Ugandan or Congolese, the all follow the same path: get through the day that is dawning, with god’s help or by never giving up.

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