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Digging for Life

A poignant and deeply moving exploration of modern-day slavery, resilience, and the indomitable human spirit.


In João Queiroga’s powerful documentary, the harrowing survival story of Adiang Assuoe Thomas Germain unfolds, shedding light on the brutal realities of abuse and slavery in an Angolan diamond field. Germain’s autobiographical account details his thwarted dream of reaching South Africa, abruptly halted when a local police officer betrayed him, selling him off to the diamond field midway through his journey. Over four grueling years, Germain toiled from sunrise to sunset in oppressive conditions, devoid of freedom and escape.

Queiroga skillfully captures Germain’s narrative against the backdrop of natural landscapes, expertly shot by Jesseca Ynez Simmons, creating a cinematic documentary that immerses viewers in the profound depths of modern-day slavery and captivity. Stanley Glover delivers a poignant dance routine intercutting with the narrative, symbolically recounting Germain’s struggle and ultimate rise, adding a beautiful and evocative layer to the storytelling.

The film resonates with heartbreak and persecution, delivering a deeply emotional narrative that underscores the courage of Germain. His story becomes a testament to the indomitable human spirit, offering inspiration in the face of unimaginable adversity. Queiroga’s documentary is not only a searing expose on the dark realities of contemporary slavery but also a compelling ode to the resilience and triumph of the human will.

Digging For Life Short Documentary


Runtime: 14 min

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