This trailblazing 1975 work – the first feature made by a woman from Sub-Saharan Africa – sets a story of love and land against a postcolonial backdrop.
Forced by French decrees to harvest peanuts rather than the rice they have traditionally cultivated, farmers in a remote Senegalese community lament the damaging effects of this agricultural shift on their soil and livelihoods. Left with few opportunities amid an ongoing drought, young farmer Ngor takes a journey to the capital to find the money he needs to marry his fiancée. With every step he takes through Dakar’s crowded streets and every fellow jobseeker he meets, however, his longing for his village increases.
Drawing on ethnographic research and featuring the people of director Safi Faye’s parents’ hometown, Letter From My Village is an emotive, captivating ode to the very country that banned it upon release for its critique of postcolonial economic policy. Yet this transgressive, touching film received multiple accolades at the 1976 Berlinale and remains an unjustly little-seen landmark of West African cinema.
In the ’50s and ’60s, white Europeans made anthropological films about Africa, but this is the insider’s story – beautiful, honest and with its own sense of time.
Never-before-seen costumes, original sketches, interactive experiences and cinematic treasures from the icons of the silent era to classic Hollywood heroines and the stars of Bollywood blockbusters.
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