(English) Mutha and the Death of Ham-ma Fuku

(English) Mutha and the Death of Ham-ma Fuku is an award winning documentary by Daniel Suberviola about Mutha, one of SafeLane's amazing deminers.

Located in Northwest Africa, with a territorial span of over 97,000 square miles, Western Sahara is one of the most heavily contaminated locations in the world, affected by mines, cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnance.

In 2019, film director Daniel Suberviola travelled to the remote landscapes of this territory to document the incredibly moving story of Mutha. 

About SafeLane’s Western Sahara deminer Mutha

Mutha is a female deminer working for SafeLane, clearing the explosive remnants of war that create a lethal threat to the lives and livelihoods of the people of Western Sahara. 

Having originally studied psychology in Libya and Algeria, Mutha was drawn to return to Western Sahara to honour her father, Ham-ma Fuku.  Tragically, he died shortly before her birth, and was killed whilst undertaking the same highly dangerous clearance work that Mutha now does.

About Suberviola’s documentary

Suberviola’s short film, Mutha and the Death of Ham-ma Fuku is both elegant and poignant.  It describes how her father is both a presence and an absence that marks Mutha’s life, a remembrance that both pushes and paralyzes her at times during her working day.

The film combines stunning wide vistas and dramatic establishing shots with tight framing and intense colour grading, making it visually powerful.  Yet perhaps its greatest impact comes from the perfect dichotomy of Mutha’s understated and gentle narrative being set against the reality of the deadly work she undertakes.

We’re extremely proud of Mutha and all our deminers, and equally proud to have been able to support the safe filming of this short film. 

Supporting the filming of an award winning documentary

Deservedly, Mutha and the Death of Ham-ma Fuku recently won the Best Documentary prize at the 18th In the Palace international short film festival.  And as it continues to feature at film festivals around the world and be nominated for more awards, we wish everyone involved – from production company, Asma Films to director Daniel Suberviola and protagonist Mutha – the best of luck.

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