Eric Wolfram's Writing, Review of L' Afrance

L' Afrance

Directed by Alain Gomis

Where do you belong? L' Afrance is about a Senegalese struggling to belong to Paris. When his immigration papers expire, he is forced to spend time thinking about his identity.

The film opens to him listening to a tape from his father, a voice from home, urging him to return after graduation. This addresses the desires people have to escape their country, and the needs that the countries have for their citizens.

In the film, one person says of himself and of his Senegal friends, "We are flamingos, one foot in water, one in the air, wings folded." I took that to mean they didn't belong home anymore, and they didn't belong in Paris either -- yet they are unable to go.

Where then did the film go? It spoke to the part of us that feels misplaced. It spoke to the part of us that has grown beyond what we thought we would become. It spoke about the complications of personal identity in a foreign land and about true liberation from colonialism. It put our eye on the struggles between personal grown, tradition, and culture.

Country: France/Senegal
Year: 2001
Run Time: 90 minutes
Cast: Djolof Mbengue, Delphine Zingg, Théophile M. Sowié, Thierno Ndiaye Doss, Bass Dhem, Albert Mendy
Producer: Edouard Mauriat, Anne-Cécile Berthomeau
Editor: Fabrice Rouaud
Cinematographer: Pierre Stoeber
Screenwriter: Alain Gomis

This Film Was Viewed at the 45th San Francisco International Film Festival

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