Yaaba

Director: Idrissa Ouedraogo
Countries: Burkina Faso
Year: 1989
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: Mooré

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Yaaba unfolds in the spectacular landscapes of rural Burkina Faso in a mythical time when peasant life was still unspoiled by colonialism. It is the story of a friendship between Bila, Nopoko and an old woman shunned as a witch by the rest of the community. Unafraid of her, twelve-year old Bila calls her “Yaaba” (grandmother) and learns the value of intolerance and his own worth as a human being. Ouedraogo, who shot the film in his own village, said that it was “based on tales of my childhood and on that kind of bedtime storytelling we hear just before falling asleep.” Yaaba’s strikingly beautiful images, haunting rhythm and subtle interactions, bring back the enchantment generated by Souleymane Cisse’s Yeelen and confirm Ouedraogo as a major voice in the new African cinema.