Description: In the rural areas of Niger, most wells are dug the traditional way: with men lowered deep into the ground on a rudimentary rope harness. This documentary takes you to the center of the earth with them. Amani Mahamane is a Master Well-digger. He has dug 77 wells, his father 90 wells, and his grandfather 80. It is hard to dig here because of the sand and the depth required to find water. His job is to use animistic rituals to find a good well site and protect his workers from harm. It is these labourers that must dig until they find water, sometimes more than 130 metres beneath the sands. Director Ingrid Patetta captures their claustrophobic descent into the earth, the customary know-how of the Master Well-digger and the impact of the scarcity of water on communities of nomadic cattle breeders.
Director: Ingrid Patteta
Length: 25 minutes