L'absence

  • 84'
  • Senegal
  • 2009
Adama, a successful scientist, returns after 15 years to his birthplace in Senegal, to his only family: his grandma and his deaf and dumb little sister. They are amazed to find out within two days that he wants to return to France, despite his earlier promises. Adama is shocked that his sister has resorted to prostitution. He meets his old teacher and his best friend, who both think he shouldn't shut his eyes to the situation and should shoulder his responsibility. The situation for his sister gets increasingly urgent and Adama is soon going to have to make important decisions.
The Absence is an atmospheric, contemporary situation sketch of a country in change: Senegal. Mama Keïta himself has a complex family history (he's the child of a Vietnamese mother and a father from Guinea) and he tells this story with a great feeling of urgency: the brain drain of African youth to the opulent West is also responsible for maintaining dictatorship and corruption and keeping the population poor and stupid in African countries. The story - in which drugs, prostitution and corruption are the most important ingredients - builds up beautifully to an exciting ending and is not characterised by all kinds of mythical and magic elements that are so characteristic of many African features. (EH)

Director
Mama Keïta
Premiere
World premiere
Countries of production
Senegal, France
Production Year
2009
Festival Edition
IFFR 2009
Length
84'
Medium
DV cam PAL
International title
The Absence
Language
French
Producer
Mama Keïta
Production Company
Kinterfin
Sales
Kinterfin
Screenplay
Mama Keïta
Cinematography
Remi Mazet
Editor
Miriame Chamekh
Sound Design
Bertrand Faure
Music
Mathieu Normant
Cast
William Nadylam, Ibrahim Mbaye