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Fri-Thu, Jun 21-27

BANEL & ADAMA

  • Dir. Ramata-Toulaye Sy
  • Senegal
  • 2024
  • 87 min.
  • NR
  • DCP

In Pulaar with English subtitles

  • Assistive Listening
  • Subtitled
  • Hearing Loop
BANEL & ADAMA

Banel and Adama are fiercely in love. The young married couple lives in a remote village in northern Senegal. For them, nothing else exists except each other. But for the rest of their tight-knit village, duty dictates that Adama soon accept the role of chief. The two lovers have their own plans — until something in the air changes. The rains do not come, the cattle begin to die, the men leave. The curse weighs on Adama’s sense of duty, and the chasm between them drives Banel into a feverish, mystical chaos. A rare debut feature that premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, and Senegal’s official submission to the 96th Academy Awards, BANEL & ADAMA is a lush and lyrical West African dreamscape, a tragic romance that soars to the heights of longing and descends deep into the realm of myth as it sets its protagonists’ perfect everlasting love on a collision course with their community’s traditions.

“In Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s transfixing BANEL & ADAMA, a tragic, evocative love story, there are no villains…. Sy, who is the second Black woman director in Cannes’ 76-edition history to compete for the festival’s Palme d’Or (following fellow French Senegalese director Mati Diop with ATLANTICS in 2019), teases out every second of her 87-minute run time, slowing our perception to match the angst these characters feel. ” —Robert Daniels, OkayAfrica

“A striking debut that puts Sy on the map as a purveyor of deceptively gorgeous visions that show flimsy desires at the mercy of the social, and literal, weather.” —Sophie Monks Kaufman, IndieWire

“With its balletic choreography of performance and statuesque visual approach, Sy’s film is a work of remarkable composition…. Every movement, every shot is deployed with such confidence and the filmmaker draws compelling performances from both Mane, graceful even in all of Banel’s distress, and Diallo, regal yet soft in equal measure.” —Caitlin Guinlan, Little White Lies

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