Senegalese Film Festival

Congo, un médécin pour sauver les femmes (Congo, the Doctor That Saves Women), documentary, dir. Angèle Diabang Brener, 2014

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, rape has become a weapon of war. For over a dozen years, gynecologist Denis Mukwege has operated on more than 30,000 raped and mutilated women. With Dr. Mukwege’s help, they have begun to put their ordeal behind them and rebuild their lives. The doctor, who is considered a hero, continues his fight despite an attempt on his life. Dr. Mukwege was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.

 

Moolaadé, dir. Ousmane Sembène, 2004

Four girls facing female genital cutting flee to seek shelter with Collé Ardo, a strong woman who has shielded her own daughter Amasatou from so-called “purification.” Collé invokes moolaadé (sanctuary) to protet the girls. A stand-off pits Collée against village traditionalists, jeopoardizing her own daughter’s prospective marriage. Roger Ebert called it “the best film at Cannes 2004, a story vibrating with urgency and life. It makes a powerful statement and at the same time contains humor, charm and astonishing visual beauty.”

 

L’extraordinaire destin de Madame Brouette, dir. Moussa Sene Absa, 2002

In this romantic comedy, an impoverished Senegalese single mother, Mati, sells bric-a-brac from large wheelbarrow,  prompting local residents to dub her “Madame Brouette” (Madame Wheelbarrow). She swore off men after divorcing her abusive husband, but that vow get put on hold when she meets slick-talking policeman Naago and the pair begin a wild fling.

 

Hyènes (Hyenas), dir. Djibril Diop Mambéty, 2002

A once-prosperous Senegalese village has fallen into poverty year by year, reducing the village elders to selling off town possessions to pay debts. Linguère, a former resident and local beauty, now very rich, returns to the village of her birth. But if she intends to share her fortune with the village, it is only in return for an unexpected action.

 

Senegalese Film Festival Lecture

The filmmaker and human rights advocate Moussa Bocoum lectured on Senegalese cinema and its political dimension, as well as his work in Yellitaare, his NGO that combats forced marriages.