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...
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In pre-colonial times a peddler crossing the savanna discovers a child lying unconscious in the bush. When the boy comes to, he is mute and cannot explain who he is. The peddler leaves him ... See full summary »
In an early 19th century African village, Wend Kuuni - a young man, lives with his adopted family after his mother was killed as a witch. When Pughneere - his adopted sister - becomes ill, ... See full summary »
A blacksmith falls off his bicycle when he tries to avoid a tortoise which crosses his path. He brings the animal home to his twelve year old son, Rabi, who becomes so fascinated that he ... See full summary »
Bamako. Melé is a bar singer, her husband Chaka is out of work and the couple is on the verge of breaking up... In the courtyard of the house they share with other families, a trial court ... 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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