Banel & Adama

The directorial debut of French-Senegalese filmmaker Ramata-Toulaye Sy, this is one of those pictures to which the phrase “every frame a painting” might apply.” – Glenn Kenny,

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.

Written & directed by Ramata-Toulaye Sy. With Khady Mane & Mamadou Diallo.

1h 27m
Ramata-Toulaye Sy
France, Senegal, Mali, and Qatar
Pulaar and French with English Subtitles
First Showing
July 19, 2024