Kounandi | Chicago Reader


Apolline Traore's 2003 video from Burkina Faso is an appealing fable about prejudice, community, and love. A pregnant stranger arrives in a village and dies in childbirth. The orphan, a girl, is given to a childless couple to raise, then grows up a dwarf and is mocked by the villagers. Her adoptive father throws her out of his house after murdering his wife, but a handsome farmer builds her a hut, and she makes delicious cakes using a pan that's her only inheritance from her birth mother. The theme of redemptive spiritual connections wins out over occasional awkwardness in imagery and pacing. In Dioula with English subtitles.

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