The theme of children's plight in the developing world is both moving and essential for any political vision. In Mambèty's film any melodramatic addenda are redundant as the realism and the girl's dignified struggle for a living are elegantly woven into a filmic 'brochure' about colonialism and communal divisions, childhood and abrupt maturation. The dramaturgy may be toned down, but it is powerful enough as is.
The syntagm "courage of children" can only go so far in these ruthless & cut-throat times -- a limp & empty talisman. Mambety's flm foists a banal version of this, a fable, a falsification worthy of Wordsworth, one perused through rose-colored glasses, inserted here into a sterile vacuum. This is more like affirmative action -- African-style -- for the young and disabled.
4,5. Without the iconoclastic and kinetic experimentation of some of his previous films, this movie is a fictionalized portrait of a generation, a people, a territory, an economic and cultural reality. Shortly, with an impressive wealth of nuances and the unparalleled accuracy of a plastic and ethical look, Mambéty remakes a cinema done at the expense of "good feelings", from within and with no complacency.
A beautiful film. Mambety's art is sorely underrated and under-discussed. I like the long reach of Sembene, but I prefer short the thrust of Mambety. Somehow, his characters and his mode of expression is a hair more personal...and at times more haunting.
Djibril Diop Mambety's swan song, perhaps my most favorite African film ever. 45 minutes long, I call it a feature film, not a short, as it is a powerful and complete story. Touki Bouki is perhaps the most famous West African film, but I love this one even more. Lissa Balera stars, and she also has a cameo in "Le Franc". Where is she now? Mambety only made 7 films in his life, if you only see one, see this one.