Le Spectre de Boko Haram

Director Cyrielle Raingou / / France,Cameroon

Winner of Rotterdam’s top prize, this moving documentary explores the lives of Cameroonian children at the edge of a war zone.

The Islamist militant organisation Boko Haram has terrorised villages and families in northern Cameroon since 2014, displacing over 300,000 people and causing a veritable humanitarian crisis. Focusing on three local children – mischievous brothers Mohamad and Ibrahim as well as the studious Falta – this remarkable debut from Cameroonian filmmaker Cyrielle Raingou homes in on the remote village of Kolofata, where the shadow of violence and the national army’s war against Boko Haram loom large.

Raingou delicately follows her young subjects as they go about their daily lives, drawing on her experience of the region to capture a world where school mixes with the presence of soldiers and innocence endures in the face of despair. With an unadorned style and considerable sensitivity, this Tiger Award–winning observational work offers an affecting, quietly hopeful portrait of young lives under threat.

“A subdued but tense glimpse into the terrorism-darkened lives of three children … Dutiful, empathetic and sensitive.” – Screen Daily

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