Archive of films Madame Brouette / Madame Brouette

Canada / Senegal / France
2002, 104 min

Section: Horizons - Award-Winning Films
Year: 2003

Though young, Mati dares to behave in a way unprecedented and unsanctioned in traditional Senegal. She behaves like an emancipated woman and strongly reacts against injustice. The film received a 2002 Silver Bear at Berlin. 


Mati, nicknamed Madame Brouette, is a young energetic Senegalese woman who at a glance differs little from her female neighbours: they and their families are just trying to survive life in Sandaga shantytown. While her peers are resigned to their bitter fates, Mati is quick to rebel and express open disagreement whenever she comes across injustice. She bravely takes care of a woman beaten by her husband, and she herself divorces, determined to raise her daughter without help. She does not take kindly to limits, not even those set by her lover, and she even dares to realize her dream of owning a small French restaurant. Such rebellion, however, seems always to end in punishment…. The director skilfully avoids melodrama and offers a spectacle in which elements of ironic exaggeration, musical stylisation and an intentionally trivialized dramatization of reality are conveyed through the outlines of a lively work of emancipation propaganda. The film is also engaging as a spectacle with seemingly choreographed crowd scenes, which profits from the colour and ornamentality of the native dress and local environment.

About the director

Moussa Sene Absa (b. 1958, Dakar) is a Senegalese artist who feels confident in several fields – as a film and television screenwriter, as a writer of plays he produces, and as an actor and painter exhibiting work in Europe and North America. To ensure a greater audience, Absa makes his films in French. He was commended for a script entitled Les Enfants de Dieu, then went on to debut in film with the short Le prix du mensonge (awarded in Carthage in 1988). In 1991 he shot his first feature on 16 mm, Ken Bugul, and followed it up a year later with three shorts. His other features are Ca twiste a Poponguine (1993) and Tableau ferraille (1997), both of which were warmly received internationally and took important awards. Absa’s on-going theme is the lack of women’s rights in Senegalese society.


Distributions la Fete
424, Guy Street, Suite 202, QC H3J 1S6, Montreal, Quebec
Tel: +1 514 848 0417
Fax: +1 514 848 0064

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons - Award-Winning Films
Director: Moussa Sene Absa
Screenplay: Moussa Sene Absa, Gilles Desjardins
Dir. of Photography: Jean-Jacques Bouhon
Music: Majoly, Serge Fiori, Mamadou Diabaté
Editor: Matthieu Roy-Décarie
Producer: Rock Demers, Danielle Champoux
Production: Productions la Fete
Cast: Ousseynou Diop, Rokhaya Niang, Aboubacar Sadikh Ba, Kadiatou Sy, Ndeye Sénéba Seck, Akéla Sagna, Pape Mboup, Sidi Niang, Mamadou Péne, Magdaan Momar Guéye, Seune Séne
Contact: Distributions la Fete


Rock Demers



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