« My father’s dead, and with him a part of my childhood, my certainties, my beliefs and my dreams ». Idrissou Mora-Kpaï is a filmmaker. He returns to his village in Wassangari land, Benin, the rain augmenting the void left by his father. Yet this journey turns out to be the occasion to discover the woman who did nothing but serve this father: his mother. Heiress to her husband’s royal title (kings are legion in Benin), she commands respect but is still a woman all the same.
« He never offered a wife a cow »,
« Not even a chick », adds a co-wife, going one better.
The two women quickly correct the image of the ideal father: « Is that what you call love? » Direct and lucid, the mother and stepmother tell the truth about male-female relationships. Their exchanges are irreverent, full of humour, and edifying. That is how men are. The filmmaker wants to know more. He investigates into how values have changed, pre-marital relationships, and education. The women respond with both telling silences and clear retorts. They are just as if not more conscious than any European female city-dweller. It is the system that surrounds them that is different and this fine film captures their condition without falling into aestheticism. By positioning these women in their environment, it shows them utmost respect and highlights their fantastic dignity.
63 min, 2002, prod. Les Films du Raphia (00 33 (0)1 40 92 00 42).///Article N° : 5592