There is No such Thing as African Films
Ouédraogo vehemently rejects clichés about African films:
“There is no such thing as African films. If our differences are not considered individually, we are brushed aside. That doesn´t encourage variety.´ In 1993 at the Berlinale, Ouedraogo pointed out that the notion of African films is also an economic principle of exclusion: ´Only one film per year from Africa is financed, not only because there is a limited public for such films but also because the films are thought to be interchangeable.´ For other reasons too, Ouedraogo wants to avoid being pigeon-holed as a folklorist: ´Above all I want to get away from being pitied and from a folkloristic presentation of Africa.´ His hope: ´We are struggling as African filmmakers to show that we are no more different to you than you are to us: the only difference is economical.”
Idrissa Ouédraogo is a Burkinabé-born award winning film director renowned for his films Yaaba and Tilai.
In Yaaba (1989), though out the film, Ouedraogo explores the paradoxes in the culture of a village in Burkina Faso. Yaaba is an affectionately designed and poetic commentary on growing up. At the same time, the two young people with their thirst for knowledge and their desire for fairness and progress embody the need for an emancipation of the African society, not only from colonialism but also from archaic cultural practices. Idrissa Ouédraogo manages to convey this message beautifully, with utmost respect to the village’s overall custom and tradition.
Idrissa depicts the beauty of the West African steppes, the habits of the respectable old lady, and the casual playfulness of the children through the cinematographic use of calm pictures and long takes, giving the viewer time to notice the details.
TEASER: PART OF THE FILM-YAABA
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All the actors are non-professional, most of them being from the village where the filming was done. The old woman who played Sana had never seen a film before. Yaaba gives us an intimate non-voyeuristic look at a small part of rural Burkina Faso culture in the late eighties.