LES SÉNÉGALAISES ET LA SÉNÉGAULOISE
Available from Apr. 3rd 12pm (EST) until Apr. 9th 11pm (EST)
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Director Alice Diop (Saint Omer) was born in France of Senegalese parents. After their death, she felt the need to explore her roots. Armed with her camera, she went to spend a month filming the daily lives of the women of her family whom she had never met: Néné and her two daughters Mouille and Mame Sarr.
“This is the portrait of a typical town courtyard – the stage of the lives of three Senegalese women, a mother and her two daughters. This courtyard is in a sense, a metaphor for the Senegalese women’s quarters – a closed space, exclusively feminine. In the face of the demands of daily life, some struggle and face the challenge, others “laze about” and dream of another life. There are no men in this exclusive space, but many children. There is a lot of coming and going, a certain amount of chaos – a total mess even – and it is the women who do there best to hold it all together. This courtyard is the one my mother knew, where she spent her childhood. I could have been born into this courtyard, grown up there…”
This could have been Alice’s life if her mother had not chosen to leave for France. It is in this courtyard that she realises the price of exile, everything she missed out on… and everything she has gained from it.
About the director
A writer and director, Alice Diop trained in documentary at the Fémis after studying humanities. She won the César for Best Short Film for ‘Vers la tendresse’ in 2017. The same year, her feature documentary ‘La Permanence’ won the top award in the French Competition section at the Cinéma du réel festival. Her latest film ‘We’ won awards for Best Documentary Film and Best Film in the Encounters strand at the Berlinale in 2021. She then launched into fiction with ‘Saint Omer’ which won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize and won Best Debut Feature at the 2022 Venice Film Festival. Alice Diop is a Villa Albertine resident. She was in residence in New York in the Summer 2022 as part of the project 10 in America. Inspired by the works of Black American women poets such as Robin Coste Lewis and Aja Monet, as well as the emotional essence of Jennifer Packer’s paintings, Alice Diop will shoot a short documentary film, sharing her experience of the city through a visual interpretation of their art, embodying the representation of Black life.