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Veteran Italian filmmaker Vittorio De Seta made his first feature film in ten years with this emotionally charged drama about a young man who has left his old life behind to start over in a strange new land.
Assane (Djibril Kebe) was born and raised in Senegal, but convinced greater opportunities await him, he stows away on a ship headed to Italy, only to be thrown overboard by the crew not far from his destination. Unbowed, Assane makes his way to Sicily, where he works a variety of punishing odd jobs as he learns to make his way in his new home.
Living in fear of the police, Assane makes a valuable friend in Caterina (Paola Ajmone Rondo), a social worker who helps him get papers as a legal resident in Sicily, but their relationship becomes difficult when he falls deeply in love with her.
Assane also earns the enmity of a gang of thugs who become his new nemeses now that he's no longer on the run from the cops. Lettere Dal Sahara (aka Letters From The Sahara) received its world premiere at the 2006 Venice Film Festival.