Escaping the Community

Banel & Adama

Director: Ramata-Toulaye Sy

Cast: Khady Mane, Mamadou Diallo, Binta Racine, Moussa Sow

Running time: 87 minutes

Film Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Festival: Durban International Film Festival (DIFF)

Language: Sengalese with English Subtitles

After having its world premiere at the 76th Festival de Cannes, Sengalese director Ramata-Toulaye Sy ‘s thought provoking film Banel and Adama was chosen as the closing film of the 44th Durban International Film Festival in July 2023.

Banel and Adama won the Bright Horizon award at the Melbourne International Film Festival and is an incisive look at woman Adama who is supposedly trapped in a patriarchal and remote village in Northern Senegal.

Adama’s future is mapped out for her by the village elders as she is to wed the younger brother of her late husband as per tradition.  However, Banel played by Mamadou Diallo is not happy with her projected future and struggles to adapt to an already mapped out life. As a young woman she struggles to take heed of advice by the village elders even when the village itself is ravaged by drought and lack of rain.

Banel is to inherit the title as village elder and along with all the men, he has to tend to the dwindling livestock in ever worsening conditions with inadequate agricultural means and a meagre population which is teetering on the edge of hunger.

Unlike Western cinema which always focuses on the interplay between hero and villain, director Rama-Toulaye Sy paints a vivid cinematic portrait of a community struggling to survive against nature and of a woman fighting to establish her own self-identity in an environment which is prescribed by traditional Muslim values and a superstition of all things individual.

Banel and Adama is a fascinatingly authentic African film, a lens which is rare for cinema going audiences from a country which has virtually no visibility on the world stage.

Interwoven with some beautifully stark images, Banel and Adama is a symbolic tale of how an individual woman fights against the expectations of her community and a man who has to bow down to local pressure to take up the position of village leader as inherited according to dictated custom.

Debut director Rama-Toulaye Sy imbues her first film with all the traits of traditional African cinema, minimal sets and a stark production design, while skilfully keeping her narrative community driven as her two main characters battle to accept the fates that have been chosen for them by the village elders.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
August 2023
  • Annecy Winner ‘Memoir of a Snail’ Gets U.S. Release Date From IFC Films (EXCLUSIVE)
    IFC Films has announced the U.S. release date for the animated feature “Memoir of a Snail,” directed by Academy Award winner Adam Elliot. This charming stop-motion adult drama took nearly a decade to create and will open in limited release on Oct. 25, with a wider expansion throughout November. The film follows the life of […]
    Clayton Davis
  • ‘The Boys’ Cast Answers Burning Questions About Season 4’s Devastating Ending and That Mid-Credits Scene
    SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of “The Boys,” previously titled “Assassination Run” and relabeled “Season Four Finale” before Thursday launch, now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video. These interviews were conducted before the attempted assassination of Donald Trump. “The Boys” Season 4 ended in the darkest timeline possible, with almost […]
    Jennifer Maas
  • ‘The Boys’ Actor Claudia Doumit on Victoria Neuman’s ‘Twisted’ Finale Shocker
    SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of “The Boys,” previously titled “Assassination Run” and relabeled “Season Four Finale” before Thursday launch, now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video. This interview was conducted before the attempted assassination of Donald Trump. “The Boys” actor Claudia Doumit is split (quite literally, onscreen) on her […]
    Jennifer Maas
  • Sabrina Carpenter Unveils International Dates for Her ‘Short n’ Sweet’ Tour
    Singer-songwriter Sabrina Carpenter has announced her upcoming global tour in support of her album “Short n’ Sweet,” due out Aug. 23. Carpenter is set to visit the UK and Europe in 2025 on a headlining arena tour that kicks off with a North American leg in Sept. 23 in Columbus, Ohio. Carpenter has already sold […]
    Thania Garcia
  • Max Launches 50% Discount for College Students
    Despite Max hiking prices for its ad-free plans this month, the streamer has announced a 50% discount on their ad-supported monthly plan, reducing the cost from $9.99/month to $4.99/month. Max is partnering with UNiDAYS, a leading verification-enabled platform for students, to confirm students’ active status. When verification is complete, users will receive a unique discount code […]
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90