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Franklin Ugobude
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films, artistes, structures ou événements liés à cette analyse
les commentaires liés à cette analyse

Ahmed Shawky is a writer at Africiné Magazine

Angèle Diabang, Senegalese filmmaker

Salma (movie still)

Brother Manuel (movie still)

Hubert Koundé, French-Beninese co-screenwriter.

Amath Niane, the Director of Photography

Un air de kora (A kora tune), by Angèle Diabang
A Tale of Many Forbiddens
NdE (Note by the Editor): The short won the Bronze Foal (Poulain de Bronze) at 2019 Fespaco, Ouaga.

All over the world, women are denied the right to do certain things for various reasons. In the Igbo speaking part of Nigeria, for example, women cannot break kolanut, a ceremonial fruit which is served at various celebrations and events. Likewise, in Saudi Arabia, it was only recently that women were allowed to drive cars.

These are but a few examples of many of such instances. For Salma, the Muslim protagonist in the film, it is a kora, a harp-like instrument that she and other women are denied. This, however changes when she has to go to the monastery for her father's kora and the friar in charge notices her keen interest in the instrument. He then assigns Manuel, a brother in the monastery who gives her secret kora classes and puts her on the track to her dream as a kora player.

The twenty-three minute short tells the love story of Salma (Amie-Hélène Sambou) and Manuel (Roger Felmont Sallah) whose constant meetings goes on further to become a case of forbidden love after all, she is a Muslim and he is a monk in the monastery.
Borrowing words from the synopsis, "their encounter turns out into an idyll. In a joyous melancholy, the musical notes become an oasis for this forbidden passion."

Noteworthy of mention from this short film by Senegalese director, Angèle Diabang is the progression of the level of comfort between Salma and Manuel. When they're first introduced to one another, there's a lot of awkwardness between them.
Salma is very particular about how she sits down around Manuel and he, on the other hand, is not equally giving. With time and the regular kora classes, she becomes more relaxed, a gesture that can be seen when they joke and when she removes her headscarf around him.
It also makes their love story, beautiful to watch, irrespective of how wrong it may have seemed.

It is predominantly shot in two places: between Salma's home and the monastery, where one can argue that most of the exciting scenes happen. There's one where Salma comes back to see Manuel, years after they had been found. She can see him from far, and he can as well, but they can't be together for obvious reasons.
When he goes back into his room, he breaks down while leaning on the door and the camera reveals Salma leaning down the gate. That may not be the greatest scene from the film but it is definitely an emotional one that helps the entire story.

Un air de kora is the case of a familiar story, told properly through great pictures and brought to life by even better acting. It felt rushed towards the end but eventually, it all makes sense to the viewers and you get to see how Salma's life is a chapter in the book of many forbidden stories.

Franklin Ugobude (Nigeria)

Africiné Magazine issue no.3 - Friday 1st March 2019, page 3 - FESPACO 2019 /// 26th edition

This magazine is published by the African Federation of Film Critic (AFFC / FACC). The publication was made possible thanks to the support of La Francophonie, Africalia Belgium, the Goethe-Institut and Ascric-B. It is produced by a collective of 42 African journalists from 23 countries.

Director of Publication : Khalil Demmoun

Editorial committee
Sid-Lamine Salouka
Abraham Bayili
Ahmed Shawky
Robert Mukondiwa
Fatou Kiné Sene
Pélagie N'Gonana
Charles Ayetan
Yacouba Sangaré
Espéra Donouvossi

Layout: Korotimi Sérémé
Impression : IGIP / +226 70 15 15 80
E-mail :

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   liens films

Un air de kora 2018
Angèle Diabang

   liens artistes

Diabang Angèle

Koundé Hubert

Niane Amath


23/02/2019 > 02/03/2019
festival |Burkina Faso |
FESPACO 2019 (Festival Panafricain du Cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou)
26e édition. Cinquantenaire.

   liens structures

Belgique | Bruxelles

Sénégal | DAKAR

Goethe-Institut / Bureau de liaison Ouagadougou (Centre Culturel Allemand de Ouagadougou)
Burkina Faso | Ouagadougou

Sénégal | DAKAR

Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF)
France | PARIS

   liens festivals

festival | Burkina Faso | Ouagadougou

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