Zan Boko means ‘the place where the placenta is buried’ and symbolizes the continuity between past and present in African village societies. The film tells the story of a village swallowed up by one of Africa’s sprawling cities. Through this commonplace event, the film reveals the transformation of an agrarian, subsistence society into an industrialized, commodity economy and of an oral culture into a mass media culture.
Zan Boko is also the story of two men, from different worlds but sharing a common integrity. Tinga is a peasant farmer whose ancestral land is confiscated by a wealthy businessman. Yabre is a journalist whose uncompromising television expose of Tinga’s victimization is censored by a corrupt government. —Africultures.com
Kabore started out as a history student at the Centre d’Etudes Superieures d’Histoire d’Ouagadougou and continued his studies in Paris where he received an MA. During his studies he became interested in how Africa was portrayed abroad, which then led him, in 1974, to study cinematography at the Ecole Superieure d’Etudes Cinematographiques. Further inspiration came upon viewing Ousmane Sembene’s Xala, which he saw as an example of how film could be used to express African culture. After returning to Africa, Kabore was made director of the Centre National du Cinema and taught at the Institut African d’Education Cinematographique. Along with students under his direction there he made his first film, ‘Je Reviens De Bokin’ (I Come From Bokin).
Kabore went on to produce practical documentaries such as 1978’s, ‘Stockez et conservez les grains’ (Store and Conserve the Grain), which focused on agrarian concerns. Another kind of documentary he made in this early period, ‘Regard sur le… read more