Sarraounia (1987)


Sarraounia, subtitled "An African Queen", was called "the first African epic" by Le Monde, "a powerful and lyrical movie" by Le Figaro, and was acclaimed by Variety, The Observer, and the International Herald Tribune.

It tells the powerful story of the historical Queen Sarraounia of the Aznas, a great leader and warrior, who led her people to resist the French in 1899, after many other kingdoms and empires had succumbed to a powerful and brutal column of colonizing soldiers. While some kingdoms readily collaborated with the French in the hope of finally subduing her and her kingdom, and others capitulated without a fight, she mobilized her people and resources, military as well as magical, to confront the French force which launched a fierce attack on her fortress capital of Lougou.

Overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the French, she and her fighters retreated tactically from the fortress, and engaged the attackers in a protracted guerrilla battle which eventually forced the French to abandon their project of subduing her.

The film won the Yennenga Stallion award for best film in 1987 at FESPACO.

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