Opening 14 Apr 2022
On the outskirts of N'Djamena in Chad, lives a single mother, Amina (Achouackh Abakar) with her 15-year-old daughter Marie (Rihane Khalil Alio). Amina is a strong-willed woman who is determined to see her daughter succeed in life where she has failed. When Amina finds out that her daughter is skipping school and then learns that she is pregnant, her world begins to fall apart. When she realizes that her daughter is unwilling to tell her the name of the father, she sees that there is no alternative but an abortion to save her daughter’s future.
It reflects on the impossible situation that it puts on women in Chad. The country does not only condemn abortion by religion but also by law, and it does not even look at the circumstances behind the scenes. It looks like a losing battle for Amina and her daughter, but we do see a force where the sacred bond between women may rise up against the male dominating regime. I was surprised to learn that this was written and directed by a man, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, and not a woman, I was happy to see that men are also questioning these laws. We can only wonder how men can oppose abortion but at the same time can justify the act of female genital mutilation. I hope this film will be seen all over the world where women are struggling for their rights against laws.
The film selected and competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. This was one of my favorite films at Filmfest Hamburg, and I had a feeling this was a film that would go far. It then appeared at the Denver Film Festival and I was not surprised that it was selected as the Chadian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)