African Film Festival: Xalé
n Wolof and French with English subtitles
Moussa Sene Absa, Senegal, 2022, 101 minutes
The drama centers on Awa, a 15-year-old student, and her twin brother (and confidante) Adama, who dreams of a better life in Europe. When their beloved grandmother arranges for their Aunt Fatou to marry a relative whom Fatou detests, the results of this forced union bear consequences not only for the unhappy couple, but for the community — and, most gravely, for the twins. The film boldly inflects contemporary melodrama with traditional storytelling modes in this potent, music-filled tale of one woman’s tragedy and transcendence.
In Yoruba and English with English subtitles
Olive Nwosu, Nigeria, 2021, 14 minutes
A woman returns to her hometown of Lagos in search of healing. What she discovers instead is a path that takes her into her past and toward a new understanding of the people and experiences that shaped her. Egúngún (Masquerade) is a meditation on home, memory, and identity — on the many versions of ourselves that haunt us.