Yoole, The Sacrifice

Director: Moussa Sène Absa
Country: Senegal
Year: 2010
Running Time: 75 min.
Language: English, French and Wolof

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In April 2006, a small boat was found drifting aimlessly along the eastern coast of Barbados. Local fishermen left the boat alone for many weeks, assuming it had something to do with drug smuggling. It later emerged that the boat contained the bodies of 11 Senegalese people who had set out to Europe four months earlier. In Senegal, it is not unusual for young people to embark in a rickety vessel in search of money and happiness in Europe or North America. Director Moussa Sene Absa is himself Senegalese, and was in Barbados when the boat was discovered. He returns to his homeland to explore the stories of the young men who risk the voyage. Surrounded by the slum dwellings and other dilapidated buildings in the ghetto, the young adults talk about poverty, hunger, politics and corruption, Western Union, and Western paradise. Archive footage of a party conference with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who represents the political elite, is interspersed with scenes featuring local songs, rap and poetry. Using a variety of rhythms and styles, Absa applies his own narrative method and succeeds in connecting individual stories to the sociopolitical situation. This yields a portrait of Senegalese youth and an impression of the consequences of the distance between themselves and the political elite.

About the Director

Moussa Sène Absa

Moussasene_absaBiography: 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).