In the Mossi culture, one of the rites attending the birth of a child and its induction as a new member of the community involves the burial of the placenta. The space in which the placenta... See full summary »
In the Mossi culture, one of the rites attending the birth of a child and its induction as a new member of the community involves the burial of the placenta. The space in which the placenta is buried is called 'Zan Boko' - a phrase which connotes the religious, cultural and affective relations that bind the child to the land and that embraces the notions of 'rootedness' and 'belonging'. Kaboré tells the story of Tinga, who resists the encroaching urbanization of his native territory. The specific rhythms and vision of the rural community, including its values, social relationship, and individual & collective destinies, are altered when a city is planted on the edge of an ancient native village. Written by
exerpted from the Harvard Film Archive Bulletin.
What do we lose when European progress comes to the ancient village?
Kaboré raises the question of what "progress" does to established peoples and what is lost when villages are urbanized or when money driven relationships supplant bonds of mutual favors and obligations. He is heavy handed, but not inaccurate is his portrayal of westernized Africans who no longer value the folkways of their parents and grandparents. Though he portrays them as kind caring parents and spouses, he also notes their corruption and their willingness to crush anything that might jeopardize their social and economic position.
But this is a timeless story of "progress" that could be played out without corruption or greed, whenever modern and ancient cultures collide. Kaboré asks the questions, shapes our sympathies, and does not or cannot give answers.
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