To help somebody one has to have a humanistic perspective.
Before watching this hard to classify film, one must try to find out why this film failed on all fronts. "Lili and the baobab" was a box office failure. It failed to make an impression on viewers too. One probable reason for all these failures could be that it was released at a time when majority of viewers were going gaga over overtly commercial films like "Les Bronzés 3" directed by Patrice Leconte. As "Lili and the baobab" cannot fit in the auteur film category, it was summarily rejected by a small minority of auteur cinema admirers too. As far as this film is concerned, a large portion of its narrative structure is based on Chantal Richard's personal experiences. Her film addresses the universal concept of individual freedom, friendship and desire to understand different cultures. On the one hand there is Lili-a young photographer from Cherbourg. She is in Africa for a photo assignment. On the other hand there is a young African woman Aminata whose life is in danger. She is in deep trouble as she has given birth to an illegitimate child. Lili wants to do something more than a simple photo assignment for African people.After returning to Cherbourg, she decides to provide all kind of emotional, financial support to Aminata. She also experiences how illegal immigrants live. It is through these generous acts that Lili is able to know her compassionate,kind self. It is nice to learn that such a personal film is still being made in contemporary France. What could be the reason ? Most of the people would guess that as French ruled over Africans in the past, it is quite natural for them to believe that it is their prerogative to make films related to African issues. In some ways, this stance may be termed as their way of getting rid of their not so holy past.
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