Into the Delta


The life of a family of fishermen, in the inland delta of the Niger river in Mali, is stricken by the effects of globalization: the rise of the price of oil and basic goods, the collapse of fish stocks and the signs of global warming.

The film reflects the passage of traditions, a relation to history and memory in a region where persist traces of the origins of things.

Filmmaker's statement

Into the delta unfolds in two complementary movements, coming close to the life of a family of fishermen on the Niger River in Mali while apprehending the impact of expanding liberalism in the region.
Strating from the concerns fishermen and craftsmen have on a daily basis ultimately lends to the immaterial dimension of existence.

Speech is the driving force of this documentary. With the weath and beauty of metaphors of the Barbara language, the film is transported into a poetic dimension.

Into the delta is also infused by silence: silence that is required to pay close attention to people’s gestures in their work; silence that reverence imposes in front of the photograph of a deceased father, sllence needed to address a prayer to an ancestor, or silence commended by the spectacle of a frightening storm. And when one is done speaking, all that is left is silent meditation in face with an uncertain future.

By orchestrating speech and silence, observing hands at work, and experiencing the metamorphosis of the river, I wanted to bring to light the dreams of the people who inhabit the delta of the Niger River.



Documentary, 76 min, 2009
Producer, Director, Photographer: Sylvain L'Espérance
Editor: René Roberge
Sound Design and Editing: Francine Poirier
Assistant director: Becaye Traoré
interpreters & interviewers: Molia Haïdarra, Bourama Sidibé
River Guide & Boat Drivers: Molia Haïdarra, Mouta Maïga
Mix: Luc Léger
On-Line Editor: Denis Gathelier
Translation: Yakouba Doumbia, Claire Sidibé
Adaptation : Marie-Claude Loiselle


One Sheet (français)
One Sheet (english)