Film reciew Essay

Wendy Kuuni by Gaston Kabore

This is a movie is about a boy was found half dead in a forest by a passing by hawker, he was a mute but luckily taken in by a lovely family which accepted him as their son and named him Wend Kuuni. He was hardworking and creative in what he did, they loved him for that. In the past Wend had undergone through some challenges which made him not able to talk because of been traumatized. The boy was mute therefore he could not be taken home. His past later on haunts the family that hosted him however they find a way to go around it.


This movie is historical and family based in that it is based on the colonial years. Back then it was known to a peaceful and loving village of Mossi empire, where it was always evergreen and flowing with beautiful rivers. The village was well envied by people from other villages due to its vast green ness and the beautiful nature present. The historical nature comes in through the presence of an empire which is not present currently.

The genre of family is present when the boy is taken in by a loving family and taken care of accordingly (Kaboré, 2015). The family saved him as he was facing his death and with this the boy grew up to be a great man. He endured the love a normal son would get from his family and this made him to be a responsible person. His creativity nourished with time and as a result the family loved him as much as possible. He did become a gem to the family.


The many character was Wend Kuuni who was the mute boy, step sister her name Pongere and their parents both father and mother. Wend is the adopted child who was rescued in the forest by a hawker. He got a life he did not expect and in the long run the family did accept him as he is. Their parents acknowledged his creativity greatly and this made him nurture it further. The sister as well acknowledges that she has a brother whereby they to the fields with. This creates a bond among them (Kaboré, 2015).


The means used in the movie is animal like horses and donkey, a scene where the messengers are sent to convey information about Wend before he was adopted to Pongere family, the travels with horse and the another scene where the hawker is travel using a donkey. The technology at this time was not well developed as most of the transport was through the old school way unlike the current means of transport which involves the four wheeled form of transport.


The theme present in this film is the characters getting haunted by their past whereby Wend gets sick in the duration that her mother is accused to have killed a boy through witchcraft. Fortunately she finds a way to get away from the village with her sick son but unfortunately she dies in the process of escaping. Wend finds a way to escape death and disappears in the forest where the hawker rescues him and treat his sickness.

There is a theme of miracle whereby after a number of years of wend being mute he finally talks. After Wend stays with his new family for a long time he finally speaks, first when there were with his sister looking after the livestock in the forest. The family after discovering the news they were full of joy. It was like a miracle to them since Wend could express himself well to others.

Wend’s mother was accused of practicing witch craft which lead to the death of one of the child in the village, despite of her innocence the villagers did not believe her. She was beaten to her death protecting her sick son (Kaboré, 2015). This is a theme that is present in the film that shows that a parent died. This is a sad thing for wend as he had accepted who her as her mother despite leaving her biological mother in the previous village.

Wend’s mother is faced with difficult situation, since her husband had not returned home from hunting for a period of twelve months. She was told to be married again since her husband is proclaimed to be dead, even if she still had hopes that one day he will return home to her and her son. When the elder forced for to be married, she decided to find a way to escape from the village with her son. This proves that there is a theme of running away in that Wend does run away due to traumatic situation at home and Wend’s step mother does run away to avoid getting remarried.

There is a theme of trauma in that wend undergoes trauma in his previous village this causing him to go mute. The reason for Wend not been able to talk to others is because of the situation her mother faced with him, almost been killed by the villagers without knowing the reason for doing so, also seen her mother dead in front of his, feeling hopeless the whole time and finally running away from villagers after her mother dead.


The scenes are displayed well that is adjustment of the image and sound are good, the quality is also high. Some scenes have unelaborated sound but the subtitles are well described even in those situations (Kaboré, 2015). An example is where Pongere father exchanges greeting with another villager. They portray emotions in great length which makes a person sympathize with the characters in great length especially Wend and the things he has gone through.

Yaaba by Idrissa Ouedrago

This movie is about boy his name Bila who befriended an old woman called Sana who was known as a witch in the village. Bila called her by the name Yaaba meaning grandmother. It is based on African traditional ways, in a small village. The film is based on an African setting which is present in the way the characters are portrayed in set and the music present in the film. The language as well present in the film does focus more on the setting that the director wanted to portray so that the theme is perfectly brought out.


This movie is historical and family, it is based on the times where people relied on each for help, the trading still toke place, in term of buying the goods. The historical genre is present in the book by the presence of villages which is currently not present. This form of structures were present back in the day to describe a certain community and unlike nowadays it is more of estates. The historical setting brings about the family aspect in that the villages are planned in terms of families (Ouedrago, 2007). This meant that the bonding was strong between the families and as a result they could grow together.

Nopoko Bila’s cousin falls ill, the medicine man in the village accused Sana to have stolen Nopoko’s soul that why she is not recovering, Sana undergoes many challenges while trying to help with Nopoko illness and even with those challenges she manages to get a cure for her and she felt good.

After the villagers treating Sana poorly every time even burning her house and calling her an outcast, unfortunately she died living her wisdom and love that she invested to live on in both Nopoko and Bila. The reason for the village to hate her is still uncovered.

Razougou having an affair with a married woman, since they love each other they continue to have affair despite knowing they doing something wrong, Koudi escapes at night when her husband is deep asleep to meet with Razougou. He describes her husband as a bad man since most of the time he spends at drinking alcohol and he has a high temper. Bila tries to support Sana’s innocence but his uncle tells him to keep quit, since he does not know what he talking about, the case happens when the villagers accused her on anything that happen in the village, like they tell her all the misfortune that occurs in the village is because of present. The only thing that Bila tries to do is to comfort her when she faced in those situations.

According to the elders what they say no one can oppose them, if someone tries to do so the whole village is forced to go against you, just like the case of Wend’s mother when de refused to be married to another man in the village and for Sana case the truth is not well known for the village to turn against her. That is why when Nopoko was sick the medicine man said he sense the presence of an evil witch who stole the Nopoko’s soul and everyone believes it, without reasoning (Ouedrago, 2007). That is the root of the people without power face in society even in today’s life people still goes through the similar things. This is the theme of the structure of government present in the film.

When Sana was away the villagers started a commotion say that she was not supported to live in that village, she brings unfortunate to the villagers, which occurred after Nopoko fell ill. She was force to move out of the village for the sake of peace between them. No one in the village knew how kind hearted Sana was apart from Bila and Nopoko who spend most of time together.

Bila always did not like when people would start mocking Sana for no reason, when he was playing with other kids from the village one of them started mocking Sana after seen her in a distance, Bila tries to defend her but no reason until they get into a fight.

After Sana was driven away from the village, she faced difficulties when trying to find food. One day Bila decide to steal a chicken from his uncle so that he can gave it to Sana for support but Sana refuses at first saying that he had steal it to give it to her, but Bila lied to her telling her his uncle gave it to him. Finally, she agrees to take it, later on Nopoko come to find him so that he can be punished for his wrong doing. At that time, he was already swimming in the river that was nearby.


The main characters are Bila the young boy in the village, Yaaba the old woman, and the family members of Bila that is his uncle Tibo and his aunt Kougri. There is also Nopoko who consistently plays with Bila throughout the film and they overall portray the normal kind of childhood that African children did have (Ouedrago, 2007).

The themes present in Wend and Yaaba’s film

In both movies Wend’s mother sacrificed everything so that her son could not be in any danger despite of been force out of the village. Same case Sana does for Nopoko, she try’s every means possible to treat her illness and luckily for parts at the end successfully. Still in both movies they end up dead despite of the hardship they bother encounter while to protect what they love. They many similarities like both women were outcast from their villages, while they were innocent in the wrong doing the villagers claimed they had done.

Happy moment in both Yaaba and Wend movies

When Wend was accepted as new member of Pongere family, when the entire family realized that Wend can actually talk. When Wend and his sister plays in the forest. When Sana watches the children play in the water Bila, Nopoko and other children of the village. Sana gets a friend who does not fear her and who trust her despite of the rumor, occurred when she spoke with Bila the first time. Nopoko plays hide and seek with Bila while charging if she finds him fast.

Stylistic aspects of image and sound in both Yaaba and Wend

The stylistic is well coordinated, since the both image and sound are of high quality. Most of the scenes takes place during the day thus the unclear images are rarely visible in the movie.

Abouna by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun and Yeelen by Souleymane Cisse

This film is about a family of two brothers Tahir the older brother (Ahikdjo Mahamat Moussa) and Amine the younger brother (Hamza Moctar Aguid) and their mother (Zara Haroun). This family is faced with many problems like separated from their father without any reason, Amine been unwell and their mother abandoning them.

Yeelen by Souleymane Cisse

This film is about a man called Niankoro who lived in a family of witchcraft, one day he was told to take package to his uncle where on his journey he encounters many challenge but due to the braveness and witchcraft ability he had he was able to encounter them.


Both films have similar genre that is religion, romance and family. The religion is Muslim that is based on how they pray and the language used in the film and for Yeelen, is witchcraft. The theme of romance in the film Adoum is between Tahir and girl who is mute and deaf. There is also romance in the family of Tahir and Amine as well as their uncles (Haroun, 2005). The Nainankoro family is also not left out in the Yeelen film.

There is also the theme of separation in both films whereby the mothers in both films decide to live their children since they say the father they are searching for is not good or is irresponsible in taking care of the family. Amine did not want their mother to live them there, but she told him to stay in that place and she will be visiting often not to worry. According to her she was doing the best thing for them seem they are out of control, but still they are her children despite of how many mistake they made, she should be able to correct them. Niankoro lives his mother after give a task of taking a package to his uncle. In for films the children are unwilling to be separated from their mother.

After Tahir and Amine stole the tape from theater in search of their father there are taken to police station but their mother plead with the officer for their release(Haroun, 2005). That when their mother had loss of hope in her children and decided to take them to a place there they will be discipline.

There is also the theme of discipline whereby in Yeelen film Niankoro betrayed the king by laying with his wife and the punishment was to take the wife and go with her. The discipline differs greatly by what happens currently as it is more lenient now than then. In Abouna film, one of the boys in the orphanage provoked Amine for able to swim, but due to high temper he takes stick and beat him, but he was reported to sheik and he done discipline. Based on that scene, sheik did not consider if the other child had dome any mistake, he only discipline of what was available at the moment.

According to her she was doing the best thing for them seem they are out of control, but still they are her children despite of how many mistake they made, she should be able to correct them. Niankoro lives his mother after give a task of taking a package to his uncle. In for films the children are unwilling to be separated from their mother.

There is a theme of betrayal in Yeelen Niankoro get a wife a king and betraying him and they have to live together. This happen after been accused of stealing the livestock in the village, for the king to change his mind for not king Niankoro, he told him to help him with a war they were facing with their neighboring village and luckily he succeeded, that is when the king asked him to cure his youngest wife who was barren and in the process of the cure he instead betrayed the king.

There is a theme of death in that after a long period of suffering of that Tahir family, death of Amine occurs after his medicine disappears (Haroun, 2005). This situation makes Tahir remorseful and decides to break the vows of not running away from the orphanage. Niankoro dies after confronting his father who was in search of him, claiming he is a thief and he will kill his son, while as the son was waiting for the unit with his father.

In both films there are fights that are present among the characters whereby it does prove that there is a theme of rivalry. When Tahir decided he was not going to run away again, Amine was not happy with his and starting fight since Tahir did not gave Amine reason of changing his mind. Based on what Tahir was going through at the moment he had two reason for changing his mind, one is the vow he made using Koran and the second one is the feeling he has for the deaf mute girl. At the age of Amine explaining this reason he will possible not understand.

When Niankoro met with his father, he was expecting a good reunion whereby his father had been search for him, claiming his is a thief who stole from him. Due to lack of understanding between two parties they started fighting. This is much unappreciated considering that it is a father and son rivalry. It is unlikely that the father did not take the matter lightly and felt the need to just fight his son. It would have been wise of him to make sure that he solves the matter amicably and keeps his anger away.

In both film the children are in search of their father, where by in the journey they encounter difficult but still they do not loss hope in their search. The fathers did leave due to one reason or the other. The return of the father of Niankoro was not a good one as it ended on a bad note. Despite the accusations the father did not try to make amends to both of them.

In both films the characters fight for their freedom in one way or the other. After Tahir reached home his mother was already taken to a mental hospital, and due to restriction he could not take his mother without applying force, so he decided to rescue his mother since, life without freedom is like slavery. Based on the live Tahir lived one can understand why he like freedom, first is what separation from both parent, death of his brother, he would not like anyone in his life to live like that again.

Niankoro rescues his wife after his took her without his permission, claiming that his son is not a good person to be around. He only brings disaster as per what they believed but despite of all that the wife of Niankoro believe his husband and finally reunites with him.


Apart of those there is still new improvement like the mean of transport that is mostly used is motorbike which is suitable for the environment, since there are no tarmac roads. In the process of search of their father Amine gets injured as there were play but it did not hurt as such but during the night time, he got a fever and fluent coughing, he waked up his brother that is when Tahir released his brother is sick and calls his mother, when her checks his fever it was back so their decided to take him to hospital only to release that he has an asthma (Haroun, 2005).


In the incident before Amine died, the medicine he was taking had done missing and no one knew its whereabouts. When Tahir decided to run away from the orphanage after the burial of his brother a boy from the same orphanage asked him to forgive him. The viewers have no idea what happens between them, but there is a time that boy had an argument with Amine, and that give the viewer’s two theories. This could be he apologized as he knew concerning the disappearance of Amine medicine or he felt guilt for insulting Amine with no reason.

History is portrayed in the story whereby it started on a first sight when Tahir was taking a bath and his towel falls but luckily a girl approaches with a smile and give him the towel, he tried to talk to the girl but no success. When the girl was at the river washing the clothes, Tahir approached her and that is what made Tahir change his mind about leaving that place. When he decided to run away he toke the girl and went home and that is when they made vows not to separate again despite of the circumstances. For Tahir to say those word he did not want to repeat the same mistake his father did to them.


The people in this film they show the emotion in the words and also genuineness in what they do. In general, the acting is good, when related to the way most of the African show their emotion, it is similar. There were some of the parts that were not clear especially at night and some places where it w

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