Seydou Cissé
South Africa, France, Belgium, Cameroon | 2021 | 90 min
Swiss Premiere
Languages : French, Spanish, Wolof, Bambara
Subtitles : English, French

After crossing the Mediterranean, three West African men are protected remotely by their marabouts. In Mali, Bakary performs the same rituals in order to reach the European “paradise”. Taamaden reveals the unexpected role of the smartphone, a veritable modern gris-gris, which connects the protagonists in exile with their African spiritual roots.

On a square in Valencia, Ouloulou, Baldé and Doucouré, men who have migrated from West African countries, share their misfortune: they are most often seasonal agricultural labourers, unlicensed street sellers, exploited by this “European paradise” they dreamed of when crossing the Mediterranean. Even if the latter no longer exists for the majority, these “Taamaden” (travelers) continue to believe that they will succeed, by praying with their marabouts back home with whom they are in daily contact through their smartphone, a veritable connected amulet. In reverse angle, Seydou Cissé films Bakary who, in Mali, carries out the rituals meant to protect him as he prepares to attempt the fearsome journey once again. The precise framing of the young Malian filmmaker, who spent some time at Le Fresnoy, successfully reconciles in images the materialistic and animistic worlds between which the characters seamlessly move - inspired by the ancestral spirituality they brought with them in their scant luggage, like an immense imaginary realm conjuring up the borders with which they constantly collide.


Emmanuel Chicon

2021, Taamaden
2012, Faraw ka taama


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