Yaaba

  • 1989
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Set in a village in Burkina Faso, YAABA concerns two young cousins, Bila (Noufou Ouedraogo) and Nopoko (Roukietou Barry), whose lives are forever changed by their association with the mysterious Sana (Fatimata Sanga), an old woman who has been branded a witch and ostracized by the adults in their village. While carefully depicting the social codes of the...read more

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Set in a village in Burkina Faso, YAABA concerns two young cousins, Bila (Noufou Ouedraogo) and Nopoko (Roukietou Barry), whose lives are forever changed by their association with the mysterious Sana (Fatimata Sanga), an old woman who has been branded a witch and ostracized by the adults

in their village. While carefully depicting the social codes of the village's quarrelsome extended family, director Idrissa Ouedraogo pits the innocence of Bila and Nopoko against the intrigue and superstition among the elders. The curious and sensitive Bila becomes something of a "problem child"

when he develops a relationship with the outcast Sana--who, far from being a witch, is a contemplative sort given to dispensing small nuggets of wisdom. Bila savors these nuggets and respectfully calls her "Yaaba" (Grandmother). When Nopoko suffers an injury that leads to an infection that is

misdiagnosed as malaria, Sana journeys to get a healer to help her. However, the villagers continue to persecute Sana right up to the film's touching closing.

The winner of the International Critics Prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival, YAABA is a visually striking, poignant film that communicates much through refreshingly economical means. Director Ouedraogo (YAM DAABO) filmed this elegant work in his own village, using a nonprofessional cast that

renders uniformly convincing and natural performances. Relying on deft mise-en-scene, Ouedraogo captures the village's unique rhythms with precision and wrests great emotional power from the simple story.

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  • Released: 1989
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Set in a village in Burkina Faso, YAABA concerns two young cousins, Bila (Noufou Ouedraogo) and Nopoko (Roukietou Barry), whose lives are forever changed by their association with the mysterious Sana (Fatimata Sanga), an old woman who has been branded a wi… (more)

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