‘Those Who Jump’ gives intimate look into immigration

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Ronel Ghidey

Of the hundreds of migrants living on Mount Gurugu, a mountain in Morocco that’s near the Spanish city of Melilla, directors Moritz Siebert and Estephan Wagner chose Abou Bkar Sidibe, a man from Mali. His job was to film the men living there, who were all from Africa and ranged in age from late teens to mid thirties, and their attempts to cross the fences.
Thankfully, Siebert’s and Wagner’s gamble with Sidibe pays off in ways that even they couldn’t have imagined, creating a film that allows its audience to get an idea of how life is for some immigrants. In the camera that the other directors have given him, Abu tells the riveting tale of these men and their endeavors in a home-movie format, proving himself an adept cameraman and worthy of his co-director title.
From singing to laughing, crying to surviving, Abu captures the ever changing emotions of the migrants, as well as their reasons for taking the risks they have made.  Each day, new migrants arrive on the mountain and each day some leave, either through making it over the fences or being caught by the police. Some simply give up because of the high stakes.
From watching them play soccer or bust out songs about their struggles — made during their free time — to them mourning the death of their own, Sidibe captures the most terrifying scenes from the mountain. In conjunction with the infrared film, which was cut from a Moroccan security camera that watches the mountainside and the fences, the audience was able to really get a detailed perspective on the actual act of crossing the border, one that most wouldn’t see otherwise.
What makes this documentary about immigration policies different from others, is that in the words of the Director Wagner himself, that it doesn’t just throw facts at you like most other films. We have google for that.
Instead, the film gets you detailed and personal accounts of the struggles of migrants and how wide-scoped this struggle is, especially in the way that it focuses on immigration from Morroco to Spain and not the issue with Syrian refugees, which is a much more popular topic.  
“Those Who Jump” creates a sense of individuality in an encompassing topic and shows its uniqueness as a film by getting someone who isn’t a conventional director to do the filming. This, more than anything, allows for it to make a lasting impression that does the stories of northern African migrants justice.
Did you see ‘Those Who Jump’ at the True/False Film Festival this weekend? Did it impact you in the same way? Leave comments below.