The Last Shelter - an intense and haunting documentary screens in Toronto

The Last Shelter - an intense and haunting documentary screens in Toronto

The documentary The Last Shelter, will be screening at the 19th Annual Human Rights Watch Canada Film Festival on Sunday, May 29th at 7:00 p.m. at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto, as well as digital streaming across Canada from May 30 - June 2.

Deep in Mali, in West Africa on the edge of the Sahel Desert, lies the peaceful city of Gao—a quiet way station for passersby with their eyes set on Europe in hopes of finding opportunity, safety, and a better future.

As migration flows from countries south of Mali like Burkina Faso, Togo, and Benin, the people of Gao maintain a safe haven where tired travelers seek refuge and immigration support before continuing their journey into Algeria, Spain and beyond.

The travelers tell their stories in a uniquely beautiful and humane film about no longer having a home once you have set off.

The Last Shelter is an emotional portrait of this town and the generous people who live in it.

A rich palette of observations immerses us in this small community, with a focus on the humanity that brings everything movingly close.

Intimate portraits and frank confessions about dreams and trauma, pride and shame, trust and deceit are framed by telling images of a nearby graveyard and the silent, ominous desert.

Variety’s Jessica Kang says of the film, “An arresting, artful, fragmentary portrait of a place of temporary refuge for migrants crossing Africa in pursuit of modest dreams,” while Cineuropa’s Vladan Petkovic writes, “Ousmane Samassekou's CPH:DOX winner is a haunting and intense documentary about a refuge for migrants on their way to Europe or back from it.”

The Last Shelter is directed by Ousmane Samassekou. Tickets are free and must be reserved starting May 12 at