Surprising Europe
Sorious Samura
'I know films can make a real difference to people's lives.'
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2011 14:24
Sorious Samura went to visit victims of the polio outbreak in Congo-Brazzaville for his film The one per cent solution

Sorious Samura has been called "The man who saved a nation," for his debut documentary, Cry Freetown.

The 2000 film is a haunting portrayal of the brutality of the civil war in his native Sierra Leone. The film shows a country that was dying, that was being left to die by the Western world. It was a screening at the United Nations in New York that earned Samura the title bestowed upon him by London's Daily Express.

Four weeks after the stirring United Nations screening, the UN was planning to deploy a peacekeeping force to the West African nation.

Samura followed up Cry Freetown with Exodus, a look at the travails of Africans trying to make it to Europe in search of the fabled "European dream".

In Living with Illegals, Samura joined a group of economic migrants and smuggled himself from Morocco into Spain and then across France and into the UK, hiding inside a cross-channel lorry. Samura wanted to understand the reality of being an illegal immigrant, so he lived in the exact same conditions and experienced the same gruelling hardships as his companions.

For his latest film, Living With Hunger, Samura moved into a remote Ethiopian village to capture real stories of people living on the edge of starvation.

"I want my films to show people the human consequences of war, famine, corruption, disease, and all the other difficulties facing my continent, in the hope that circumstances can be improved," he says.


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