Bintou

By Fanta Régina Nacro (Burkina Faso)

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The Burkinabè director Fanta Régina Nacro adopts an alert style to recount the story of a woman’s battle against her feudal husband. Actor Hyppolite Ouangrawa – who already featured in Nacro’s first short Un certain matin – plays the role of the conservative carpenter Abel, who is impervious to women’s liberation. The character Bintou is played by the actress Alimata Salouka Koné, who is as natural as she is convincing in her portrayal of a battered woman. Humiliated by her husband in front of her children and neighbours, she refuses to resign herself to this. She firmly opposes her husband’s refusal to send their daughter to school along with their sons, using her imagination and energy to set up a business selling sprouted millet for the fabrication of the traditional tiapolo beer. The incisive dialogues are full of humour which does not fail to amuse the spectators. The Abel-Bintou couple battle it out beneath the neighbours’ mocking gaze. The tension culminates to the point where the jealous husband destroys his wife’s jars, but she refuses to be defeated nonetheless. Her ardour in her work ends up breaking down the feudal Abel’s reticence, who sees the light at the same time as he escapes being lynched. Fanta Régina Nacro’s highly colourful portrait is underlined by a clear message to women. They have to help one another in order to conquer their economic independence. That is the main objective of the Songtaaba association – Mutual assistance, in Mooré – of which Bintou is an active member.
If a film’s success can be measured from the audience’s enthusiastic reception, Bintou‘s writer-director could only be delighted, as the audience went crazy at each screening at the Fespaco, where it won the festival’s short film award. This favourable reception substantiates Nacro’s accurate portrayal of society.

2001, 31′, 35 mm, part of the « Mama Africa » series produced by Zimmedia. Camera: Nara Keo Kozal, music: Yacouba Comparoé and Maï Lingani, starring Alima Salouka Kone and Hyppolite Ouangrawa. Distrib. 00 33 1 53 26 37 54.///Article N° : 5560

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