A film that will very likely be included on my list of African diaspora films that may debut at the Cannes Film Festival this year, is Soleils (which translates as Suns in English) co-directed by Burkinabe filmmakers, Olivier Delahaye and Dani Kouyaté, from a script by Delahaye.
With a cast that includes Binda Ngazolo and Nina Melo, the film tells the story of an old wise man who is entrusted with curing a young girl struck by amnesia. He takes her on a healing trip to Ouagadougou by way of the Cape, Berlin, Mali and Belgium. In their travels, which are full of surprises, they meet a variety of characters described as remarkable and luminous, or ignorant, with set ideas, as well as some fantastical creatures, and a text hidden deep in a continent that reveals a well kept secret.
Some may be familiar with Kouyate’s past work – specifically the visually enthralling Sia, The Dream Of The Python, which won the Special Jury Prize at the 2001 FESPACO event.
It received a limited theatrical release in the USA in 2002, and was met with mostly positive reviews from critics.
It was eventually released on DVD in 2007 as a double-feature with another Burkinabé film, Tasuma, The Fighter. You can find the disk on DVD on Netflix, but not streaming.
He is also the son of one of the first Burkinabé actors, the late Sotigui Kouyaté.
A good-looking first trailer for the film landed on my virtual desk this afternoon, and is embedded below: