The Witches of Gambaga
Sat 21st January 2-5pm
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road SE1
Admission £5.00 best to book early
The Witches of Gambaga (55 min) is the extraordinary story of a community of women condemned to live as witches in Northern Ghana. Made over the course of 5 years, this disturbing expose is the product of a collaboration between members of the 100 strong community of ‘witches’ and women’s movement activists determined to end abusive practises and improve women’s lives in Africa. Painful experience and insight come together to create an intimate portrait of the lives of women ostracised by their communities. Told largely by the women themselves, their incredible stories and struggles are conveyed to a wide range of audiences by the director’s narration. The film was completed in July 2010 by Fadoa Films Ghana and UK. It was directed by Yaba Badoe, and co-produced by Yaba Badoe and Amina Mamatwo African women.
for website and trailer
In the feminist fable “Delwende” (90 min) the African filmmaker S. Pierre Yameogo tackles social injustice in present-day Burkina Faso with grace, economy and exquisitely controlled anger. The instrument of his fury is Pougbila (Claire Ilboudo), a 16-year-old village beauty who elicits jealousy from the local girls and appreciative glances from their boyfriends. But the village elders are preoccupied with the decreasing rainfall and rising number of child deaths; led by Pougbila’s father (Célestin Zongo), they accuse her mother (Blandine Yameogo, the filmmaker’s cousin) of witchcraft and banish her to fend for herself. From here “Delwende” gathers momentum and emotional force as Pougbila, incensed, sets off to find her mother and expose her father’s shameful secrets. Cutting between the women’s journeys — one fearful and hopeless, the other purposeful and noble — Mr. Yameogo contrasts the shackles of tradition with the stirrings of rebellion, never allowing the heat of indignation to cloud his eye for a striking landscape or an expressive face. Jeannette Catsoulis