This first feature film won over Première when it was screened at Cannes.
The director’s first feature film Ramata-Toulaye Sy, Banel & Adama, will be available in theaters from August 30, 2023. He had already unveiled his first images and his synopsis. Presented in official competition at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, First loved him very much.
Cannes 2023: who is Ramata-Toulaye Sy, the young director in competition for the Palme d’Or?
The Franco-Senegalese director, who filmed in the Fulani language in Fouta-Toro, wanted to tell a universal love story, in the country that is so close to her heart: Senegal, where her parents grew up. A figurehead of the young generation of Franco-African filmmakers, she does not hide the political gesture behind the film:
“When I was working on the screenplay, I had the feeling that most of the contemporary African films that I discovered dealt with violence, war, terrorism, poverty…”
None of this emerges from the first very poetic images, between myth and reality, except for the love of the two young eponymous heroes, which they have for each other and for their country. A love that promises to be doomed to failure… But the director assures her: she wanted at all costs “leaving the tragedy to enter the tale”. It feeds moreover on literary and pictorial references than cinematographic ones:
“My desire was to invent a character as mythical as Medea or Phèdre.”
Banel is, like Medea, a woman who kills to survive, but above all a strong and liberated woman who rebels to free herself from the oppressive traditions of her country. She doesn’t need anything or anyone to do it except Adama… “Throughout the film, I wanted us to ask ourselves: Who is this strange woman really? A murderer or a lover? A sacred woman or a martyr?”, explains Ramata-Toulaye Sy. Banel and Adama will be interpreted by two young non-professional actors, Khady Mane And Mamadou Diallowhom the director chose for their complicity, but above all for “their mystery and their gleam of madness”.
Banel & Adama will be released in theaters on August 30, 2023.