The Sand Raft



Directed by Isabella Sandri  / creative documentary / prod. Gaundri srl /66 min. / DV Cam, Beta SP / Year 2003 / Italy / TV acquisition RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana

Il Film

“The struggle of the Tuareg people of Mali to hold onto their nomadic traditions is the subject of Isabella Sandri’s poignant docu ‘The Sand Raft’. First wracked by drought and then victimized by the government and army, the Tuareg have seen their independent culture along the fringes of the Sahara slip away”. (‘Variety’)
A creative documentary about the last Tuareg tribes people to survive the drought in the north of Mali, and who are now struggling not to lose their nomadic and warrior identity in exchange for settling down. At the 21° Turin Film Festival it wins the Special Jury Prize.


In a chorus of voices, of testimonies and considerations, the Tuareg tell how, in 1990, in the North of Mali, there has been a great Tuareg ribellion and how thousands of civilians have been killed by the Mali Army and by the militia pro-government of Ghanda Koy as a retaliation to the attacks of the Popular Front and the Liberation Islamic Front of Azawad.

This film-documentary tells about the abandonment of old ways of life of the nomads caused by sedentary life, the difference between ‘houses of skin’ (the tents) and ‘houses of dirt’, the desire of peace imposed by women and, as last, the journey of two young people, different in race and enemy toward each other , a Tuareg and a Bambara, through a dream made of sand, light, water, peace, where bodies are mixed inside a long drape, a blu shesh.


Written by Isabella Sandri

Filmed by Isabella Sandri

Editing    Isabella Sandri, Rosella Mocci 

Music   Epsilon Indi

Production Organizer   Alessandro Bolzoni

Postproduction   Sergio De Vito

Assistent Director and Interpreter   Alalya Mint Sidi Mohamed


Bajan Ag Hamatou

Alalya Mint Sidi Mohamed

Sidi Ould Sidi Mar

Abbas Haidara

Arudeni Ag Hamatou

Tabingoukoutt Ag Bilal

Baye Ag Alhassane

Lafti Ag Sidi Mohamed

Mossa Ag Badi

Fatta Walet

Halimatou Walet Sotber

Taklit Walet Mala

Oma Ichidinharene

Madina Ichidinharene

Fadimatt Ichidinharene

Tinsibane Walet

Sidi Mohamed Ould Wanassi

Aichatta Walet Akli

Seidi Ag

Souleymane Ag

Tintanere Walet Haidara

Lalla Walet Ahmed

Dahia Walet Ahmed

Dilghid Ould Babani

Magania Mint



Klili Ag Sando

Manaky Walet

Mohamed Ba

Clement Uzabakiriho

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