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Binta and the Great Idea (2004)

Binta y la gran idea (original title)
Binta, a little girl from Senegal, tells us about the everyday life in her village, the importance of education for the girls, and about her father's great idea to make the world a better place.


Javier Fesser


Javier Fesser
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Zeynabou Diallo Zeynabou Diallo ... Binta
Agnile Sambou Agnile Sambou ... Binta's father
Aminata Sane Aminata Sane ... Soda


Binta is a tiny child in a village in Senegal's Bignona Prefecture. Her school teaches peace, tolerance, friendship, and fraternity. Two stories intertwine: Binta's older cousin Soda's father will not let Soda go to school; and Binta's father gets a grand idea when he learns that Westerners (tubabs) have so many fish they no longer need to work together and have guns to protect their wealth. He dictates his idea to Binta and then carries the paper to the lieutenant governor of the prefecture, then to successive higher officials. Meanwhile, the school children act out Soda's plight, staging it for her parents and the village. And what is Binta's father's grand idea? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama | Family | Short


TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

User Reviews

A very nice film from Senegal
26 February 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This short film was nominated for an Oscar for 2006--losing to the incredibly clever WEST BANK STORY. This film isn't a traditional Western-style narrative, as the story is constructed in an unusual way--in addition to the story, there are interludes where the kids in a school act out some of the scenes. For example, a young girl pins to go so school but her father, a very traditional man, says she cannot because it's not a girl's place to become educated--she's to take care of the men. However, at times, this exact same struggle is being acted out by students of the local school where she would like to attend. This was odd and a tad confusing, but was also unique and interesting.

In fact, the theme of this short film is schooling along with the notion that we are all the same and need to look out for each other. Nice sentiments, though occasionally done in a somewhat heavy-handed manner. Still, this was not a serious problem. In fact, the story itself isn't the best or most important part of the story. I really think it was just nice to have a glimpse of a totally foreign culture and gain insight into their spirits.

A nice film that is well worth seeing, but probably should not have won the Oscar.

This and many more are included on the DVD "A Collection of 2006 Academy Award Nominated Short Films" and is well worth buying because it is jam-packed full of 13 wonderful shorts.

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Jola-Fonyi | French

Release Date:

25 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Binta and the Great Idea See more »

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