By Bamuturaki Musinguzi
Published March 29, 2018
WULU, a political-crime thriller by Mali’s Daouda Coulibaly and DIVINES, a a humorous but tragic drama by Qatar’s Houda Benyamina were among the movies that screened at the just concluded Francophone Film Festival in Kampala, the Ugandan commercial capital.
Whereas WULU that is acted in French and Bambara tells the story of a 20-year-old man who gets embroiled in the Malian criminal underworld drug ring, DIVINES is about a teenage girl living in the Romani ghetto on the outskirts of Paris with her mother and aunt and has to hustle for money by shoplifting from supermarkets and then reselling the wares on the streets to their classmates.
Among the awards WULU has won are the 2017 FESPACO Ousmane-Sembene Prize for its relevance in addressing ‘corruption’ in a film that recounts the rise of a West African drug lord and the socio-political effects of drug trafficking in West Africa, the 2017 FESPACO Best Actor to Ibrahima Koma, the 2017 Africa Movie Academy Awards’ Best First Feature Film by a Director and Best Visual Effects.
WULU, by French-Malian Coulibaly, has also received nominations at the Hamburg Film Festival 2016, London Film Festival 2016, and Miami Film Festival 2017.
Houda Benyamina, a French-Qatari screenwriter and director who made DIVINES in 2016 has won the Cannes Film Festival Camera d’Or and Cesar Award for Best First Feature Film for this humorous but tragic drama.
Other movies screened during the 2018 edition of the Francophone Film Festival held March 5 – 10 at Alliance Française include LE CHANT DES HOMMES (Rising Voices) by Bénédicte Liénard of Belgium; YEMA by Djamila Sahraoui of Algeria; ADY GASY (The Malagasy Way) by Lova Nantenaina of Madagascar; and ZOMBILLENIUM animated film by Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord, a 2017 French-Belgian production.
Whereas LE CHANT DES HOMMES addresses the challenges of immigrants from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Congo, Morocco and Niger and YEMA questions the meaning of humanity using a family torn apart, ADY GASY shows how the Malagasy are tackling the world economic crisis without losing their unique identity and sense of humour like “The Chinese make things; the Malagasy fix them.”
Based on a comic series of the same name. ZOMBILLENIUM, through its Halloween theme park, shows how real monsters can hide in plain sight on earth.