GREAT AFRICAN FILMS: VOLUME 4 The fourth installment in this series of award-winning films from Africa includes Moussa Toure's impressive "The Pirogue" and Khady Sylla's incisive docs "Colobane Express" and "The Silent Monologue."
THE PIROGUE / LA PIROGUE
Director: Moussa Toure From: Senegal / France / Germany Year: 2012 Minutes: 87mins Language : French and Wolof with English Subtitles Genre: Drama
In Moussa Toure's powerful epic fiction film, a group of 30 men and a woman sail to Europe in a pirogue, facing the sea - and the possibility of never reaching their destination - in exchange for the myth of a better life in Europe.
"Senegal, a West African nation on the Atlantic Ocean, was home to Africa's greatest movie-maker, Ousmane Sembene. Today, Moussa Toure follows in the master's footsteps with this drama of 30 men (and one woman, a stowaway) who set out on an illegal 7-day voyage to Spain - making the perilous trip in a pirogue - a boat resembling a vastly oversized dinghy. While sharing a common desire to build a better future, these men hail from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. The story grows from a finely delineated mosaic of personalities - reactions to the journey's mounting danger - that span the emotional panoply of human experience. Toure's compelling tale says as much about the universal nature of courage and perfidy as it does about the economic realities faced by so many of the world's people. THE PIROGUE was featured in Cannes 2012, in the Un Certain Regard section." ~ Film Forum.
* Festival international du Film de Cannes, Un Certain Regard, 2012 * Tanit d'or award, Carthage Film Festival, 2012 * Award for best direction, people's choice award, Angouleme, 2012 * Prix Lumieres award for best French-language film, Locarno International Film Festival
Director: Khady Sylla From: Senegal/France Year: 1999 Minutes: 52 Language: Wolof with English subtitles Genre: Docu-Drama
Public vans provide the traditional and sole means of city transportation in Dakar, Senegal. In a frenzy of activity, from the outskirts to downtown, people from all walks of life as well as fruits, vegetables, chickens, etc. are transported daily in these public vans. Colobane Express opens a window on a slice of life in the busy urban metropolis where drivers and their trainees are always on the go, managing relationships, incidents and conflicts, dealing with the competition and providing an invaluable service to demanding yet loving customers.
THE SILENT MONOLOGUE / LE MONOLOGUE DE LA MUETTE
Director: Khady Sylla and Charlie Van Damme From: Senegal / Belgium Year: 2008 Minutes:48mins Language : French and Wolof with English subtitles Genre: Docu-drama
In a voice-over, we hear the thoughts of Amy, a girl from a rural area of Senegal who works as a domestic for a well-to-do family in Dakar. She complains about her employer, who continuously criticizes her and gets on her case, and she talks about her dream of one day opening her own eatery. Meanwhile, we see her sweep the pavement, prepare the food and clean the house. The contrast with her vast and barren native region is enormous. In Dakar, some 150,000 young women work as housekeepers for families whose daughters can go to school. "Why does the emancipation of some result in the servitude of others?" Amy wonders. The filmmakers interview other young maids who dream of going to school, and they film a woman who shouts her furious lyrics straight into the camera in rapper-like fashion: "I keep your houses squeaky clean, but you all think I'm dirty!" In a dramatized scene in a slum, the women demonstrate how they'd like to deal with a woman who doesn't pay her housekeeper enough. In response to the situation, the filmmakers make an appeal to change the rules of the world economy.