- 1h 50min
It has always been a firm conviction of the family that any woman who sings, will die. Now, while a girl is in France she becomes an international star. She realises that sooner rather than ... Read allIt has always been a firm conviction of the family that any woman who sings, will die. Now, while a girl is in France she becomes an international star. She realises that sooner rather than later her mother in Africa will learn that she sings. To solve this dilemma she goes back ... Read allIt has always been a firm conviction of the family that any woman who sings, will die. Now, while a girl is in France she becomes an international star. She realises that sooner rather than later her mother in Africa will learn that she sings. To solve this dilemma she goes back to her native village and arranges her own funeral, albeit with instantaneous rebirth. She... Read all
Let this be clear: I'm not African, don't know anything about the continent, neither do I have any link with musicians. Thus, I feel I can be objective.
This joyous film about life in Africa (not exactly a happy topic) is the best musical fable I could conceive.
Fatou N'Diaye is ravishing, dances and sings very well. All the African cast is joyous and natural when dancing, and of course their in sync choreography transmit they are enjoying themselves. The contrast with the brief time in France is horrible: the French sing, dance and move awkwardly, everything seems staged, and without any grace to boot. Coming back to Cape Vert: The beautiful wooden painted coffins with shapes of Mercedes, a huge fish, a lion or a pink butterfly are beautiful, and show us their different conception of death. How traditional religions live with animism is also talked about without telling us what to think, just "a fact of life". The guys who go to funerals to eat, brag about how they knew the deceased and even the one who drops the fact "they owed him money" are a welcome comic relief. Like everything done in the movie, "part of life". So is colonialism, her mother having worked for them in the house they now live in, etc. On a more intellectual level, the "message" of the film is very uplifting and clear: you can live with your traditional values and also grow out of them. Vita makes the only possible choice, a very creative one, for getting hold of her life. The hard facts of life in an underdeveloped, poor country are not eschewed. The chorus sings: "Everybody who goes abroad never comes back", "You won't be hungry anymore" and "Here a College degree is worth nothing". This film is of special interest for those of us who were born in a poorer country that the one they long for. You can come back to your roots and help a little bit, without complaining, and even make peace with your former couples :). Their Portuguese is hard to twig at first, at least if one's accustomed to Brazilian one, like us Latin Americans. But once we do, it' even musical. The way everybody, rich and poor, old and young, fat and slim, eat, dance and sing, reminded me of Brazil, another country with stark social contrast and with a "joie de vivre" unthinkable of basically anywhere else. She becoming "the owner of death" is another bonus of this film, like the phrase that I quoted on this IMDb summary.
Enjoy this movie, you won't regret it. Great for watching on a 1st of January, or when you need to feel you can renew your life.
- Jan 1, 2010