13-24 nov 2024
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Letter from My Village

Letter from My Village

Kaddu beykat
Safi Faye
Senegal
1975
95 min
n.a.
Focus: Fabrications
Synopsis

This Senegalese docufiction film explores the shy romance between Ngor and Coumba, set against the background of a tough rural life. The persistent drought means that earnings for millet and groundnut farmers in the village are in decline. Neither Ngor nor his family can afford to pay the dowry for Coumba, so he decides to try his luck in Dakar.

Filmmaker Safi Faye loosely frames her feature film as an audiovisual letter about the village where she was born. She used local villagers as actors and provides the occasional comment herself. There are tragicomic scenes under the tree in the heart of the village, where the menfolk gather to discuss the dire situation. The high-flown French in the newspaper read aloud by the teacher has little relevance to their daily life.

Faye also takes time for the daily routines of village life: children at play, and women at work on the arid land, cooking on a wood fire and sifting the millet. The subtle storyline meanders through it all—as does the indirect criticism of an agricultural policy that promotes monoculture, ultimately harvesting only poverty.

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Credits
95 min
black and white
DCP
Spoken languages: Serer, French
Director
    Safi Faye
    Safi Faye
Production
    Safi Faye
    Safi Faye
Cinematography
    Patrick Fabry
    Patrick Fabry
Editing
    Andree Davanture
    Andree Davanture
Screening copy
    Arsenal Distribution
    Arsenal Distribution

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More from the program section Focus: Fabrications
Fabrications investigates the image of truth often associated with documentaries. With a selection of films, we probe the difference between reality and realism and look at how films attempt to address this through a deliberate mix of fiction and documentary technique.Focus: Fabrications is supported by Vfonds.
View program section
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