On the border (AT)

A film by Gerald Igor Hauzenberger, Gabriela Schild


Agadez is in Niger, at the entrance to the Sahara. Until 2023, it was the European Union's security anchor in West Africa. From here, migration flows were monitored and police and border guards were trained.

A virtual border ensured that only a few migrants from Agadez were allowed to continue their journey to the Mediterranean. In return, the city's citizens were promised that youth unemployment, crime and corruption would be tackled.

Rhissa Feltou, the committed mayor and main protagonist of the film, helped negotiate these measures. But his grassroots, social-democratic approach has earned him the wrath of the state, which is a major beneficiary of European aid.

As more and more aid money for the ambitious projects trickled away, the military staged a coup against the president.

In just six months, West Africa's model democracy became an autocratic dictatorship. Resentment against the former colonial power, France, leads to the cancellation of all agreements with the EU.

Civilian and military trainers from Europe and the US are forced to withdraw in unison, while Russia delivers new war material and military experts a few days later.

Over a period of five years ON THE BORDER traces the daily struggles of three citizens against social and political grievances.

A coproduction of Framelab (AT), Corso Film (DE), Mira Film (CH)

More Infos

  • Credits

    Writing and Directing

    Gerald Igor Hauzenberger, Gabriela Schild


    Thomas Eirich Schneider, Heyo Schomerus, Joerg Burger


    Nela Märki

  • Technical Details
    Duration112 min
    Original LanguageTamasheq, Hauser, French, German
    CountryAustria, Germany, Switzerland