Classic Film Review: Faat Kiné

Full Title: Faat Kiné
Director: Ousmane Sembène
Year: 2000
Comments: Faat Kiné is a Senegalese woman, who runs a successful gas station- a rare feat in the male dominated, oppressive world of Senegal. Kiné’s character is seen as a heroine in her community, having suffered and struggled most of her life to give her kids (whom she had out of wedlock) the education and privileged life she never had. One of the film’s main themes is the repudiation of the old generation. The movie makes itself clear that the former traditions of Senegal are slowly dissipating. As a whole, I thought this message was communicated well and I would say for a movie, this is informative in terms of learning about Senegalese culture. With that being said, it was overall pretty average and did not floor me in any way. There is enough to be appreciated, but not enough for it to stand out as anything of significance. Some parts were mildly amusing, some things were shocking, but the running time without a doubt could have been trimmed, much like most American films. If you read this site’s film reviews, you know we don’t really cover too much foreign material (for no particular reason other than not coming across them and/or not making any effort to come across them either), but I don’t feel like my lack of enthusiasm for this feature has anything to do with a language/culture barrier; I treated this review like any other one. All in all, I would only recommend this to someone that wants to learn about Senegal (and/or how it has changed in somewhat recent years) via entertainment.
Grade: 4/10

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