Faces of Women / Visages de Femmes

Director: Désiré Ecaré
Country: Ivory Coast
Year: 1985
Running Time: 105 min.
Language: French

Structured around the rhythm of a dance, filmmaker Désiré Ecaré weaves a rich tapestry of textures and cadences of life in the Ivory Coast in his film Faces of Women. This film displays in a comedy of manners the changing roles of women in West Africa. In the city, the dishmonger Bernadette finds it difficult to succeed in a market circumscribed by the backward attitudes of men when she tries to convert from a barter-based to a money-based operation. Meanwhile, Fanta learns karate to speak to men in their own language: force. Politically and stylistically adventurous, this two-part film explores the links between feminism, economics and tradition in modern day Africa, ironically pointing out similar patterns in the strategies adopted by women in patriarchal societies.

About the Director

Désiré Ecaré

Biography: Désiré Ecaré was born in 1938 and died in 2008 in Abidjan (Ivory Coast). Having spent his childhood in the Ivory Coast, he travelled to France in 1961. He graduated two years later and achieved a second prize of Dramatic Art and joined the IDHEC (a prestigious film school). Ecaré’s first film was Concerto for an Exile (1968), a short film on the lives of African students in Paris. It was a hit and won the Grand Prize of Young Cinema at Hyères. In his first feature film, À nous deux, France (1970), the filmmaker takes the same approach and a portrait not only of men but of a black woman wanting to compete with the Parisians. With this satirical comedy impression of lightness, Désiré Ecaré once again proves his talent. Faces of Women (1985), also written and produced by the filmmaker, is divided into three parts connected by the singing and dancing. A tribute to African women, the film nevertheless caused a scandal in Africa. Acclaimed in France, he won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes in 1985.

(Source: http://mubi.com/cast_members/230723)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Visages de femmes [Faces of Women] (1993, 2000).

Concerto for an Exile (1968);
Take Care, France [À nous deux, France] (1970);
Visages de femmes [Faces of Women] (1985).