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Saaraba (1988)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 25 users  
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Tamsir returns to Senegal after 17 years in Europe. His uncle gives him a patronage job in Dakar, virtually without duties. He visits his family's village to see his parents, and there he ... See full summary »

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Title: Saaraba (1988)

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Storyline

Tamsir returns to Senegal after 17 years in Europe. His uncle gives him a patronage job in Dakar, virtually without duties. He visits his family's village to see his parents, and there he meets the beautiful Lissa. Tamsir espouses traditional ways, as does Lissa, but when her parents agree to marry her off to a corrupt and well-spoken member of parliament, Tamsir and Lissa dishonor the family and she becomes pregnant. The MP's response, his and Tasmir's uncle's plan to capture the village farmland, the reactions of Lissa's parents, who are strict followers of Islam, the disaffection of Dakar youth, and the dreams of a village mechanic to find "Saaraba" (Utopia) complete the story. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Whose Utopia?
7 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is similar to Mambety's work as the visuals are stunning and the plot is more complex than it appears on the surface. The character's coming to terms with returning to Africa to rediscover his roots after years in Paris reveals his own European-Western informed illusions about how Africa is or should be. His expectations about a traditional utopia (which is what Saaraba means) slowly dissolve as the reality of urban struggle, widespread poverty, and an insidious western-style pessimism reflecting the slow but steady advance of consumerism. He becomes disillusioned and only truly understands what being an African means at the end. Cinematography is quite well done.


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