Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

LITTLE SENEGAL

 

Year: 2000
Country: Algeria/France/Germany
Run Time: 97 minutes

"I don't think about the past. What's the point?" utters Ida Robinson. She's the cynical operator of a New York City newsstand whose street smarts aren't quite enough to help her deal with a rebellious granddaughter, Eileen. But Ida's mysterious new employee does a great deal of thinking about the past; he's Alloune Djire, formerly of Senegal, recently retired from his job curating a museum memorializing the history of the slave trade. Tracing genealogical documents - and sales records ? of his scattered family across the Atlantic, Alloune has made his own venture to the New World, heeding a tribal stirring in the bloodline that only he can hear, to journey forth and help out a distant relative in need. Now, like a dark-skinned Don Quixote, he quests through Harlem, assisting Ida (secretly a distant cousin) in trying to rescue Eileen from the Thug Life. But Alloune's placid wisdom and hearth-spun philosophy plays out very differently on the island of Manhattan, with unexpected and drastic consequences for a small mini-community of African immigrants. A serious counterpoint to Eddie Murphy's "Coming to America," Rachid Bouchareb's ironic drama captures the bewildering contradictions of the African Diaspora, including the pernicious scorn and suspicion between American blacks and their brethren from "the Motherland," and how the maxim that "it takes a village to raise a child" falters when that village is a metropolis like Manhattan. (Partially in French with English subtitles)

Screenplay
Oliver Lorelle, Rachid Bouchareb

Director
Rachid Bouchareb

Producer
Jean Br?hat

Cinematography
Benoit Chamaillard

Editing
Sandrine Deegen

Principal Cast
Sotigui Kouyat?, Sharon Hope, Roschdy Zem, Karim Koussein Traor?, Adetoro Makinde, Adja Diarra, Malaaika Lacario

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