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BUUD YAM

Burkina Faso, 1997 (MIFF 1998, International Panorama)

Director: Gaston Jean-Marie Kaboré

Set in the early 1900s on a bend in the Niger River, Buud Yam charts the unpredictable journey of Wend-Kuuni, a young man in search of a healer to cure his ailing sister, the victim of an unknown disease. In the manner of a folk tale, Gaston Jean-Marie Kaboré's extraordinarily beautiful film deals primarily with childhood youth and a search tor identity. Beyond that, Buud Yam tackles the big questions of life, those that make or undo our world: the acceptance of those dilferent from oneself, tolerance and dialogue; the alternative being distrust, intolerance and exclusion.

"From the start I wanted the story of Buud Yam to draw its power and prominence from the very art of the traditional African folk tale... In this way I sought to pursue my method of creating a mutually enriching dialogue between two forms of narrative, the folk tales of my homeland and the cinema. As I wrote, the mythical dimension of my story began to emerge, and Buud Yam became the rites of passage of a character who finds himself in an ultimate quest for identity. I introduced some scenes from my first feature, Wend-Kuuni, to bring out the erstwhile feelings and recollections of the characters that we find in this new film. The ending is open, again, like a folk tale. Will my characters again take me by the hand some day to join them on their voyage?" - Gaston Jean-Marie Kaboré

Gaston Jean-Marie Kaboré was born in Burkina Faso in 1951. He studied cinema in Paris and obtained a degree in History from the Sorbonne. One of African cinema's most respected and active figures, Kaboré was the director of his country's National Cinema Centre from 1977 to 1988, a Cannes jury member in 1995 and the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career. Kaboré's filmography includes Wend-Kuuni (1982) and Rabi (1992).

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