What the Netflix Movie, Adù, Taught Me about the Immigrants


Arinze, my friend, suggested that I watched the Netflix movie, Adù. His reason was ‘you might cry’.

I watched and I did not cry until the end credits rolled in. The movie could not possibly have ended without a happy ending. It was too sad a movie to have ended the same- sad.

‘Where is the rest of it’ I muttered to myself.

I used to warn about excessively politicising terms like ‘Immigrant’ ‘Refugee’ ‘IDP’ and the likes because when you do, you forget that these people are humans with stories. People, not criminals, trying to jump walls to get a better life, to laugh again, to be happy.

The story is about displaced children(about 6&11) who left their slum village in Cameroon at the murder of their mother and chased out by greedy poachers.
One of them died, the other Adù, 6, moved on and found another immigrant friend.
While the both of them tried to run to Spain from Morocco, they were caught at the border by the border civil guards and sent to Immigrant camps where they would live the rest of their lives.

I am ashamed that I was expecting a happy ending. Waiting for the scene where a stranger would see the kids and save them. Enrol them in school and help them live that life.

When it hit me that the story of Adù was the stark reality of about 35m children immigrants every year, I started to look for my tissue box. Yea, Arinze was right. I did cry.

A privileged White man in the movie said something, ’Our wall to Africans is like a denial for freedom, but it’s for them to solve their own problems’. He said the wars in Cameroon or Congo or wherever are the effects of colonialism and neo imperialism. How the divide and rule colonial strategy is still the bane of Africa’s underdevelopment.
How African leaders cannot seem to control the wheel of their countries because they were created on faulty foundations.

Adù reminds me again of why Britain left the EU. The Immigrants pouring in posed security challenges to them as they were bound to the ‘free movement’ EU protocol.
The former British Colonial Empire- ‘where the sun never set’, could not manage the embers of disaster they had fanned and did not want to be accountable for the mess they had created in over 15 countries.

Most importantly, how ignorant of the privileged White man and many like him that the world is in circles and that if there are unrests in Mali, Egypt or Morocco, Europe, the next door neighbour, would suffer the rebounds- Immigrant crisis.

Finally and frankly, a post-movie self-reflection taught me that whether we are leaving for Masters in Canada or wherever, we all are not so different from Adù and the others who leave through the Sahara dessert every day for Europe. We are all Immigrants.
We are all running.