Directed by Apolline Traoré
Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast
2019, 105 min
Women Filmmakers Week
A tense psychological thriller, this film is set in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in 2010, during the civil war over the elections and President Laurent Gbagbo’s unwillingness to concede defeat. This pitted Northerners against Southerners and ethnic groups who had once lived peacefully together against each other. The less well-known story is that of the anti-immigrant prejudices against foreigners and immigrants living in Ivory Coast. One of these immigrants is Francis Desrances from Haiti, played by the well-known Haitian actor Jimmy Jean-Louis. Desrances has built a new life for himself in Abidjan. He is a shop owner and has a loving wife Aissey and a daughter Haïla. After 12 years he and Aissey are finally expecting a baby son whom he’s already named Najac. Haïla becomes unsettled by the attention her father is lavishing on his as-yet unborn son and realizes she is not the child he has always wanted. She is determined to prove to her father that she is as worthy as a son. Apolline Traoré’s bold filmmaking once again brings us a dramatic but heart-warming story, highlighting the human cost of civil strife.
In French with English subtitles. (Graphic violence)
Online viewing begins Friday, March 5, 7:00 pm; Q&A at 9:00 pm