“No U-Turn”

(Nigeria/South Africa/France/Germany)

Letterboxd (3.5/5), Imdb.com (7/10)

The quest for a better life is often a challenging undertaking, but, for some, it’s more difficult than others. That’s the case for many West African migrants, particularly those from Nigeria, seeking to improve their opportunities for themselves and their families. Writer-director Ike Nnaebue, a Nigerian who left his homeland years ago for greener pastures, chronicles that issue in this insightful new documentary in which he retraces his own journey and profiles the stories of others who have followed in his footsteps. The film follows Nnaebue and his subjects as they make their way north to Europe through several West African nations in which they face danger, uncertainty, cultural disconnects, abduction, environmental hazards, and, in some cases, unexpected delays that either hinder or permanently stall their forward progress. This offering seamlessly blends the stories of the filmmaker and those of the ever-hopeful pilgrims who refuse to give up and stay the course, providing viewers with an up-close look at what stalwart individuals are willing to endure to improve their lot in life. This is a truly moving yet realistic story of the resilience, determination and persistence of the human spirit and what it’s capable of tackling and achieving.