Director: Clarence Delgado
Country: Senegal
Year: 1991
Running Time: 80 min.
Language: French and Wolof


Based on a novel by Ousmane Sembene, Niiwam recounts the travails of a young couple’s attempts to save the life of their infant son. Unable to find a cure in their village, Thierno and his wife take him to a city hospital, only to discover that the “blessings” of modern life have caused a degradation of even the most basic human relationships. The film avoids sentimentalizing, seeing its main characters as tragic examples of much larger social problems. As their struggles mount, Thierno takes a bus trip across the city only to be caught in a more desperate situation. Shot in black-and-white, the first time feature director does not let the simplicity of his story detract from its harrowing and immediate call for humanity.