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DVD / video DVD / video Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ta dona = Fire
Editor:Drabo, AdamaISNI
Series:Library of African cinema
City of publisher:San Francisco, CA
Publisher:California Newsreel
Geographic term:Mali
indigenous knowledge
videos (form)
feature films (form)
Abstract:'Everyone is in the hands of his mother', a Bambara proverb reminds us. 'Ta Dona' is a film about regeneration, about how a new African can be born out of the old. It outlines an authentically African development path - nurturing rather than obliterating tradition, cultivating rather than plundering the land and its people. For this reason 'Ta Dona' has been hailed as the first African environmental feature film. Director Adama Drabo blends traditional and modern ways of seeing, supernatural myth and naturalistic narrative, in a style which might be called African 'magic realism'. 'Ta Dona', like Souleymane Cissé's 'Yeelen', is the story of the quest for secret knowledge by a young Bambara man. Here the hero, Sidy, is not a 13th-century Songhai warrior but a modern agricultural expert in the Ministry of Rivers and Forests. While working in a peasant village, he is also searching for the seventh canari, a forgotten, secret Bambara herbal remedy used in childbirth. Faced with a scorching drought and a corrupt government, Sidy manages to save the village and rediscover the seventh canari. In the process, he achieves a new identity, reconciling Africa's present and its past. 'Ta Dona's' ferocious satire of the exploitative ruling elite proved prophetic. Two weeks after its premiere, student demonstrations resulted in the toppling of the 23-year-old dictatorship of Moussa Traoré in Mali.