Banel & Adama

An intense and magnificently photographed drama about love, self-assertion and social constraints, this was the only debut in the running for the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year. (Original with English subtitles)

A film by Ramata-Toulaye Sy
Drama, France/Senegal/Mali 2023, 87 mins, Original with English subtitles

A small and remote village in northern Senegal today. Banel and Adama are fiercely in love. Longing for a home of their own, they have decided to live apart from their families and that Adama will not accept his blood duty as future chief.

But when Adama informs the village council of his intentions, the whole community is disrupted. The rain that is supposed to come does not come and the star-crossed lovers learn that where they live, there is no room for passions, let alone for chaos.

Laced with a pinch of magical realism and a lot of poetry, director Ramata-Toulaye Sy created a true gem and promptly made it into this year’s Cannes competition with her debut.

Ramata-Toulaye Sy

Ramata-Toulaye Sy was born in Paris in 1986 and is a film director and screenwriter. She studied at the film school La fémis in Paris, which she graduated in 2015. She first worked as a screenwriter before realizing her first film in 2021 with the short film “Astel”.

Director & Writer: Ramata-Toulaye Sy – Cinematography: Amine Berrada – Editor: Vincent Tricon – Music: Bachar Mar-Khalifé Starring Khady Mane, Mamadou Diallo, Binta Racine Sy, Moussa Sow, Ndiabel Diallo.