Between Dreams & Nightmares 33:00, 2010 (Ref: EU10782)



Catalonia in Spain is the second biggest location in the world for illegal immigrants – only the USA has more. Most of the illegals are children and come from Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa. The provincial Catalan government has put in place a system to handle this influx, but still most of the children end up on the street, sniffing glue or robbing people. This documentary focuses on a group of youngsters who have received support, but since they are no longer children, they are now faced with the challenge of going out into the world on their own. Mohamed, Mustafà and Bridget and their friends David, Zacarías and Ernest each have very different stories to tell, ranging from living the life of outcasts and delinquents to fulfilling their dreams: having working papers, a place to live and a job. Mustafà and David are working on an exciting project.

They want to make a music video of their rap song “Emigration,” with the hope that it will one day be broadcast on TV in Senegal. They want to discourage Senegalese kids from coming to Europe because they feel that the hope of finding their dream-come-true abroad comes at too high a price. Mohamed has started a new job and received his first pay-cheque, leaving behind his days of sleeping on the street. Bridget has not been as lucky: she was expelled from a children’s shelter because medical tests showed that she was over the age of 18, though according to her passport she is just 17.

A group of nuns have taken her in under their care, but that is probably only a six-month arrangement, so every night is a countdown to achieving her dream, which could very easily turn into a nightmare. These young people all crossed paths at the vocational training school for restaurant and hotel work in Barcelona. They came here with the hope of being able to send money back home to their families, but arriving in a foreign country as a child or adolescent with little education and no family support, where the system they encounter is confusing at best and, at times, cruel, is not the best way to start a new life. Most of these kids are the successful ones. Those who are still struggling regret having come to Europe but most of them also feel that, no matter what, there is no turning back.