Young French Cinema 2022: Above Water
Director: Aïssa Maïga Run Time: 90 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 2021
Country: France, Belgium, Niger
Marcher sur l’eau/Above Water is presented at the Film Center and in our Virtual Screening Room as part of Young French Cinema.
Premiered at Cannes Film Festival 2021. With this intimate portrait of a village in the semi-arid plains of northern Niger, internationally acclaimed Senegalese-French actress and activist Aïssa Maïga reveals the devastating effects of global warming on remote populations. Tatiste is home to a small community of the cattle-herding Wodaabe-Fulani people. In recent years, the dry season has been lasting longer, turning the plains around Tatiste into a desert. The men roam far afield to find grazing land for their cattle and the women go to Nigeria in search of work, leaving the older children to look after the little ones for months on end. Fourteen-year-old Houlaye cares for her younger brothers and travels several miles every day to get to the closest well, hoping there will be water and scanning the horizon for her mother.
By sticking closely to Houlaye and her neighbors, Above Water manages to avoid being both gloomy and didactic. A crucially important film about the injustices of climate change, it also raises essential questions about education and the rights of women. Every viewer will be haunted by Houlaye’s words when she pleads with a neighbor to take her along for a trip to the nearest big town: “I’m 14, and I know nothing.”Young French Cinema 2022 Program See our upcoming films