What tendencies, what meteors emerge in this profusion of fictions?
On the Edge, by the Nigerian Nweton Aduaka, most certainly. Indeed, this homage to Fela has an air of Afrobeat about it: playing as much on flash-backs as on the transition from colour to black and white, this 28 minute film relates the story of Lorna, a young drug addict, and the efforts of Court, her partner, who tries to help her to unhook. A vibrant story of brothers and sisters, of atrocities and hypocrisy, of desperation and anger.
We have already said how much we like Souko, le cinématographe en carton, by the Burkinabè Issiaka Konaté: a real treat in which the military can do nothing to deflate the school children’s cinema dream. The same goes for Le Truc de Konaté, by the Burkinabè Fanta Regina Nacro, who has managed to make a film about Aids into a lighthearted and endearing comedy. Dama, by the Malian Léopold Togo, delicately explores the question of communication in the couple, suggesting, via this woman married to a deaf and dumb man, that silences are at times richer than words. In Sabriya, the Mauritanian Abderrahmane Sissako uses a young woman’s arrival to introduce an imbalance in the sensual relation between two men that seems to have stopped in time… That is undoubtedly what makes it so novel: its affirmation of an intimate portrayal of both a relation and modern dilemmas. None of these films, which seek both a formal and financial independence, required a big budget. They do not situate the audience as an absolute, but privilege testimony in terms of intimacy and desire: Les Bijoux by Khady Sylla (Senegal) essentially takes place in the bedroom of a Dakar council flat where four sisters and their mother react differently to the rendezvous one of them has with a « man with a Mercedes »; following a couple during a weekend, La Fumée dans les yeux by François Woukoache (Cameroon), poses the question of domination in male-female relations; Elle revient quand maman by David Pierre Fila (Congo), a homage to Zao, who we have no news of, evokes the loss of a woman who dies of malaria in a hospital on 1 January 2000, the symbol of a mother Africa who is at risk of dying…
The same goes for the North African works, with Le Blouson vert by Djamel Azizi, a jazzy fable about police discrimination in the Paris metro, or La Femme dévoilée by Rachida Krim and Hamid Tassili, a successful film about the machismo of young Algerians.
The documentaries offer a striking parallel: Jean-Marie Teno (Cameroon) juxtaposes politics and the condition of women in Chef!. Starting with the edifying image of mob justice against a chicken thief, he broadens his reflection out to the inequalities in Cameroon, « land of little and big chiefs ». As for Anne-Laure Folly’s Sarah Maldoror ou la nostalgie de l’utopie (Togo), the film is characteristic for its respectful in-depth portrait that manages, as it has the necessary simplicity and ability to listen, to illustrate what an admirable, but very modest, cineaste has brought to the cinema by posing a personal viewpoint in a series of engaged films.
This reference to a great lady of film could not be better timed, reminding us that the intimate is not the prerogative of the young. Let’s just say that, driven by the need to define a place in a world in which identities are being erased, they dare to appropriate it in order to explore the question more deeply.
///Article N° : 5390