12 October 1999 | dalton-9
Magnificent film from sub-saharan africa
This film, which has been shown twice in France on the Arte channel but is, I believe, not available on video, is one of the most impressive films from one of the francophonic world's greatest directors. Beginning in South Africa under the apartheid regime, it follows a young girl who flees the country after a violent confrontation with a local white landowner in which her father is killed. She settles in Abidjan, where, ten years later, she has become a university student. As part of her studies, she visits the Taureg tribe on the edge of the Sahara before at last returning to post-Apartheid South Africa. This is a vastly ambitious film, attempting as it does to deal with a number of cultures and countries of contemporary Africa, each with its own history, language, and political and social conflicts. At its center are two immensely impressive performances by the actresses who play the heroine, first as a young girl, and later as an adult. Thus it manages to be at once an intimate portrait of a young woman, and a vast fresco of much of a continent.