A beautiful & compassionate film from Senegal about a physically crippled girl who decides to make a living selling newspapers. At a concise 45 minutes, the film is able to depict a full-fledged human being & in them show something that resembles the human condition. Directed by Djibril Diop Mambety, this was his last film before dying of lung cancer. This is a major work, regardless of being a feature film or short
The slow entry into this film allows for the depth of this setting's depravity to immerse and surround your senses. The social climate is obvious but not glaringly blatant; and it serves as a perfect landscape for this powerful speck of illumination that the protagonist becomes. And what makes it truly 'perfect'? It's the honesty of these non-pro actors playing off the roles of their intimate reality.
A rare film in which I feel like I'm learning something both about the world and about filmmaking in every shot. Everything matters, but it is so graceful and economical that it never strains under the weight of symbolism. The audio was also noteworthy - not only the soundtrack, but the way that the film used the sounds of everyday life to help build the world. The acting of lead child was energetic but nuanced.
Such a refreshimg and inventive film. Couldn’t decide if it wants more political critique and bite, or more of the curious allegorical/real flicker, or both. Seems kin with Manoel de Oliviera’s oblique ways. Thank you, Mubi, for expanding my experience of what and how film can be. Much more of this is needed.
I have not had this bittersweet feeling in my chest since I was a kid and read Soviet books about smart, enterprising kids overcoming adversity. Such a beautiful portrait of the street youth, and an uplifting parable on why being kind matters. This is my first Mambety, and I'm brokenhearted that he died during the filming. Happy to learn that Lissa Balera was able to attend school with the money she made filming.
You can't keep a good girl down, and our heroine is just enchanting. A lovely sing song voice, a high spirit and lots of pluck. Oh yes like Nausicaa in James Joyce's Ulysses our angel has a game leg, but that doesn't stop her and you root for her all the more because picks herself up and starts all over again. An obvious metaphor for Africa -- that could learn a thing or two from her.
An all too forgiving film. If one longs for a revolutionary impulse, a critique of capital, a clear statement about the post-colonial condition, they won't find it here. Instead Mambety dishes out a heavy dose of sentimentality that lets everyone and everything off the hook...including the passive Western viewer. Well worth watching to come to your own conclusion....it is a touching film with a memorable aesthetic.