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


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.

About the Director

Idrissa Ouedraogo

Biography: Idrissa Ouedraogo was born in Banfora, Burkina Faso, in 1952. He trained at the African Institute of Cinematography in Ouagadougou, continued his studies in Kiev and Paris, and graduated from the Institut Des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques (IDHEC) in 1985. His first feature film, Yam Daabo, was presented at the Cannes Film Festival. This success was followed by Tilaï (1990), the winner of a special jury prize at Cannes and the Grand Prize at FESPACO in 1991. Yaaba and Samba Traoré were screened at the first New York African Film Festival in 1993. In 1997 Kini and Adams, a South African co-production, competed in Cannes. Ouedraogo also worked on a television series called Kadi Jolie and his feature The Wrath of the Gods opened the 2003 edition of FESPACO. Shortly after the end of the making of The Wrath of the Gods, Ouedraogo opted for a kind of cinema more closely adapted to the needs of Africans, to compete with the invasion of satellite images that are not representative of Africa.

(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.48)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Yaaba (1993);
Tilaï (1994, 1997);
Samba Traoré (1993);
Kini and Adams (1997, 1998).

Why Not [Pourquoi pas] (1981);
Poko (1981);
Les Écuelles (1983);
Les Funérailles de Larlé Naba (1984);
Ouagadougou, Ouaga deux roues (1985);
Issa le tisserand (1985);
Yam Daabo [The Choice] (1986);
Yaaba (1989);
Tilaï (1990);
Obi (1991);
Karim and Sala (1991);
Samba Traoré (1992);
Gorki (1994);
Le Cri du cœur (1994);
Afrique, mon Afrique (1994);
Lumière et compagnie (1995);
Les Parias du cinéma (1997);
Kini and Adams (1997);
Entre l’arbre et l’écorce (1999);
Le Monde à l’endroit (2000);
Kadi Jolie (2001);
Scenarios from the Sahel (2001 – Fanta Régina Nacro, Idrissa Ouedraogo, Cheick Oumar Sissoko);
11’09”01 – September 11 – Burkina Faso (2002);
The Wrath of the Gods [La Colère des Dieux] (2003);
Kato Kato (2006);
Stories on Human Rights – La Mangue (2008).
Rien ne se jette (2010).