Through the eyes of children about to be adults, Simon Gillard brings the nomadic life of a colourful West-African Fulani peoples to life. Boli Bana is a sensory film that takes you all the way to West-Africa, where you can almost taste the fabric of the savanna on your lips while the sun burns your skin.
At night the young Ama and other boys from the tribe are wandering around the savanna with their herd of cows. The boys are responsible for the imposing, but mild animals. Together they travel around, act like real boys – with typical boy jokes – but try to behave like real men. The colourful village is the place where the women live. A village surrounded by the sounds of their laughter and hymns. Today is a big day for Aissita. A sorceress came to the village for her rite of passage, because today is the day Aissita becomes a woman.
After two short documentaries, – which were very successful in the festival circuit (Anima in 2013 and Yaar in 2014) – the director Simon Gillard shows up with his debut feature film. His shots are so sensitive and delicate, making the pain and endurance that comes with live and the rites of passage, almost physically tangible.