In the early 1990s, Mustafe Hassan was only a child, when the escalating Somali Civil War forced him to flee to Finland. He learned the Finnish language, got his education, started a family and settled down to a peaceful suburban life. But a couple of years ago, Mustafe learnt from his uncle that a Chinese mining company was after his family land because of its supposedly valuable mineral deposits. Mustafe had to face a difficult decision: should he sell the land to the Chinese for a fraction of its value, or return with his family to Somaliland to make sure that any wealth accrued stays within the country?
Despite its premise, this most recent documentary by Inka Achté is not a treasure hunt film, but rather a multifaceted and thought-provoking story weaving together issues of diaspora, financial colonialism, equality and identity.
While Mustafe tries to advance his mining venture amidst the bureaucracy and clan tensions of Hargeisa, the other main thread of the story emerges in the difficulties of his female family members, especially his Finnish-born daughters, in adapting to the humble conditions and traditional customs of their father’s homeland. In Finland, there is surely racism, but there are also dear friends, forks, forests and their ‘Finnish grandma’, Päivi. There is no place like home, but where exactly is home?