Guet Ndar, the fishermen’s neighbourhood in St Louis, Senegal, has been threatened for several years by rising water levels, which have caused considerable human and material damage. One stormy evening, the house of Djibril and Marie’s neighbours is swept away. For Marie, the threat of staying here is too great: she wants to move to ensure her three daughters are safe. For Djibril, it is unthinkable to leave his neighbourhood, his job and his way of life. He is convinced that he can fight the onslaught of the ocean.
St Louis is my city, my bastion in Senegal. Today, the city is doomed to disappear, swallowed up by the Atlantic Ocean. Guet Ndar, the fishermen’s quarter, is the first to face this threat. The seafront is already underwater. This expected disaster brings to mind another story, that of my maternal uncles from the farming world, who were forced to abandon their land when it became unusable following the great droughts of the 1970s. Lënde is the connection I make in my mind between that crushed past and a present that is about to be effaced. I ask this question: How do we cope when the ground around us is shifting in a fundamental, inexorable way? I grasp this place, Guet Ndar, which I know well though I do not belong to it. I this context, I put back into motion trajectories that are inspired by faces that have disappeared.
Katy Lena Ndiaye is a Senegalese filmmaker. After graduating from studies in journalism from the Institut des hautes études des communications sociales in Brussels, she gradually turned to making documentary films. Her work has won awards at numerous festivals around the world. Traces, Women’s Imprints won the Grand Prix du jury at the Montreal Art Film Festival in 2006 and a Special Mention at the Carthage Film Festival in 2005; Waiting for Men was awarded a Star by LaScam in 2009. With On a le temps pour nous (2019) and Freedom, Money, a Story of CFA Franc (2022), her cinema became more frontal and began to revolve around questions of historical, philosophical and political legacies.
Oualid Baha studied production at the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel and film law and economics at the Sorbonne. After experience with organising and programming film festivals, he joined Tact Production as an associate producer. There, he developed and produced several projects including Joel Karekezi’s The Mercy of the Jungle, which won the Golden Stallion of Yennenga at Fespaco. In 2022, Freedom, Money, a Story of CFA Franc, a documentary by Katy Lena Ndiaye, had its premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. He continues his collaboration with Ndiaye and his transition to fiction films with the project Lënde.
€1 820 000
End of 2024, Senegal
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