Madame Brouette / Mrs. Wheelbarrow

Director: Moussa Sène Absa
Country: Senegal
Year: 2002
Running Time: 104 min.
Language: French and Wolof

madame brouette1

Proud and independent, Mati, also known as Madame Brouette (“Mrs. Wheelbarrow”), makes a living by pushing her wheelbarrow through the marketplace in Sandaga, Senegal. Divorced, she dreams of one day opening her own diner so she can earn a living with dignity, together with her daughter, Ndèye, and her friend, Ndaxté, who has also escaped from a violent marriage. Mati has had enough of men, and doesn’t want anything more to do with them. Fate, however, comes calling, in the person of charming and smooth-talking Naago, a cop. Despite her misgivings, Mati falls in love once again. This time, it may be the real thing… One day, at dawn, the residents of the Niayes Thiokeert district are awakened by the sound of gunfire. In full view of the horrified neighbours, a wounded Naago emerges from Mati’s house and collapses. What pushed Madame Brouette to this extreme?… Was is it really she who pulled the trigger?

About the Director

Moussa Sène Absa

Biography: Moussa Sène Absa was born in 1958 in Senegal. After starting a career as an actor, he has won awards for his short films, documentaries, and features. He is also a painter and author. He exemplifies the “homo senegalensis”, an ideal of an artist, which was dear to Léopold Sédar Senghor, rooted in tradition but fully willing to use what the Western world has to offer. Ironically, Absa is more famous internationally than he is in his own country despite exposure to a large audience in Senegal through the TV series Goorgoorlu, written by TT Fons and produced by the national Senegalese television (RTS).

His first film Le Prix du mensonge (The Price of Lies) earned him the Tanit d’Argent (Silver Tanit) at the Journées cinématographiques de Carthage (Carthage Film Festival) in 1988.

Tableau Ferraille, released in 1996, earned him several awards including Best Cinematography at FESPACO in 1997.

(Source: Through African Eyes – Dialogues with the Directors, BONETTI Mahen and REDDY Prerana (Editors), 2003, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.84)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Tableau Ferraille [Scrap Heap] (1998);
Ainsi meurent les anges [And So Angels Die] (2002);
L’Extraordinaire Destin de Madame Brouette [Ms. Wheelbarrow] (2005);
Teranga Blues (2007);
Yoole [The Sacrifice] (2012).

Filmography:
Le Prix du mensonge (1988);
Ken Bugul (1990);
Set Setal (1991);
Jaaraama (1991);
Entre nos mains (1991);
Molaan (1992);
Offrande à Mame Njare (1993);
Yalla yaana (1994);
Twist à Popenguine [Ça twiste à Poponguine] (1994);
Tableau Ferraille [Scrap Heap] (1997);
Jëf Jël (1998);
Blues pour une diva (1999);
Ainsi meurent les anges [And So Angels Die] (2001);
Goorgoorlu (2001);
L’Extraordinaire destin de Madame Brouette [Ms. Wheelbarrow] (2002);
The Adventures of Aziz the Reporter (2002);
Bari-baiire (2003);
Ngoyaan, le chant de la séduction (2004);
Teranga Blues (2007);
Yoole [The Sacrifice] (2011).