Sira, an African heroine, by Apolline Traoré | The Bride of the Desert

Beaten, raped and left for dead in the middle of the desert, a young Fulani woman finds refuge very close to the camp of the Islamist terrorists who attacked her family.

In order to flesh out her scenario, which she found naive, Apolline Traoré (Me Zaphira) met women in displacement camps in Dori, Burkina Faso. The testimony of one of them, a mother shot in the shoulder who had to walk in the desert with her two children after the attack on her village, particularly upset her.

This is how the story of Sira (the dazzling newcomer Nafissatou Cissé) was born, a young Fulani Muslim girl with dark skin, promised to Jean-Sidi (Abdramane Barry), also Fulani, but a Christian with a complexion. clear. However, Moustapha (Mike Danon), best friend of Sira’s father and ardent defender of sharia, takes a dim view of this union. As they flee their village to go to that of Jean-Sidi, Sira and her family are attacked by jihadists.

Beaten, raped and left for dead by Yéré (Lazare Minoungou), leader of the terrorists, Sira soon finds refuge in a cave very close to the Islamist camp. She thus discovers that Moustapha is in collusion with Yéré. Karim (Ildevert Meda), an experienced soldier, and a group of young girls from various Sahel countries arrive later on the scene, who will serve as sex slaves to the jihadists, including Kemi (Ruth Werner) with whom Sira will bond. of friendship. Over the months, Sira will prepare her revenge.

Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival last year, Sira, an African heroine turns out to be a film of masterful beauty whose lyricism evokes the cinema of Terrence Malick (The harvests of heaven, The new World). Thanks to Nicolas Berteyac’s lighting, which richly highlights the color of the sand and the sky, the majesty of the desert has rarely been illustrated in such a striking way on the big screen.

Beyond her vibrant tribute to the resilience of African women, Apolline Traoré bears witness with the same vigor to the stigmatization suffered by the Fulani due to the high rate of terrorism among this West African people. Through the character of Moustapha, she boldly and courageously denounces the hypocrisy of the fools of Allah.

Judiciously adapting the codes of the western to West African reality, the Burkinabé filmmaker creates a gripping drama whose issues may however seem vague or abstract to Western spectators. At times, they will wonder what use the heroine’s fiancé could possibly have. In fact, every move he makes does little to advance the story. With the exception of the last, which magnificently sums up all the faith in humanity which carries Sira, an African heroine.

Apolline Traoré will be at the Beaubien cinema for the performance on Friday, February 2 at 6:30 p.m.


Sira, an African heroine


Sira, an African heroine

Apolline Traore

Nafissatou Cissé, Mike Danon, Lazare Minoungou




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