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African Perspectives: Namibian Premiere of “Ramata” (Original with English subtitles), SAT, 25 August 2012, 7 pm, Goethe-Centre Windhoek

On Saturday, 25 August 2012 at 7 pm AfricAvenir invites to the Namibian Premiere of the Senegalese feature „Ramata“ (Congo/Senegal, 2009, 90 min) by Léandre-Alain Baker. This "film of great poetry" (Africiné), a cinematographic adaptation of a novel by Abasse Ndione, with internationally acclaimed model Katoucha Niane in her first cinema role, tells the story of Ramata, a senegalese bourgeois woman married for 30 years to the Minister of Justice, whose life radically changes when she meets, apparently coincidentally, a mysterious hustler free of all attachments. 

Attention: New venue! The screening series „African Perspectives“ has moved its venue. Since July the series “African Perspectives” takes place at the Goethe-Centre Windhoek, Fidel Castro Str. 1-5, Windhoek. 

Date: Sat. 25. August
Time: 19h00
Entrance: 30,- N$
Venue: Goethe-Centre, Auditorium


Synopsis
The life of Ramata, married for 30 years to the Minister of Justice, radically changes when she meets, apparently coincidentally, a mysterious hustler free of all attachments. In this studied adaptation of a novel by Abasse Ndione, Leandre Alain Baker boldly attempts to unite style and content by concentrating his film forcefully on the bewitching presence of Katoucha Niane (who tragically died after the film's shooting was completed), well known as a fashion model and whose ambiguous and brooding presence the film pointedly emulates. Her Ramata is a striking woman in her fifties who lives in an elegant neighbourhood of Dakar, married to a Minister of Justice with whom she is preparing to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. But she is forced to confront this unsatisfactory image of herself when she meets a mysterious hustler free of all attachments, named Ngor Ndong. 

Ramata’s encounter with Ngor takes her to another side of the social spectrum of society and awakens a deep longing and desire, unsatisfied and intangible, which smolders within her, and that ultimately Ngor is not willing nor able to satisfy. An emotionally irrational need for Ngor plunges Ramata into an emotional abyss that unravels into self-destruction. 

The director about the film
“It is a poetic and theatrical film. It was a narrative choice. When taking a closer look at the film, one notices that it is influenced by various film genres: the detective, the western, adventure film, the social drama, the romantic comedy etc...yet maintaining the storyline of the drama that builds between the protagonists. For me it was a way to break free from certain archetypes of African cinema, the anthropological side that is seen all too often in its films. I wanted to work more on the eye language, the unspoken, the thoughtful gestures in everyday life, sympathy, compassion, the love for another, thus inscribing the narrative into a hushed and nocturnal environment rather than under the grueling and piercing sun or under the palaver tree. ….

Ramata is a deeply wounded woman, a wound that dates back to her childhood and thus is constitutive of who she is. This encounter with Ngor Ndong, her young lover, will awaken in her the grief that had been dormant. Essentially, it is the story of the metamorphosis of a woman, her relationship with the world, and the universe around her. The affair with her young lover, Ngor Ndong, takes a dramatic turn when the hidden chapter of her past comes back to haunt her. It is true that their relationship is irrational, and so is the desire for another, for love. It is this irrational aspect that reveals to us the things that are the most concrete in their lives. This is what allows us to discover who they really are.”

© Copyright AfricAvenir 2012 

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