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Tales of Little People Histoires de petites gens

Djibril Diop Mambéty / Senegal, Switzerland, France / 91 min / Slovene subtitles, Wolof / 10+

A hymn to the courage of street children and a whimsical fable, full of hope and humanity.

written by Djibril Diop Mambéty, produced by Silvia Voser (Waka Films), Cephéide Productions, Maag Daan

The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun La petite vendeuse de soleil 
1999, 45 min

A young girl Sili lives on the streets of Dakar with her blind grandmother. While all the boys around her sell newspapers, Sili must beg for her daily subsistence. But she is determined to change things around. Starting tomorrow, she will sell newspapers just like the boys. 

Le franc Le franc 
1994, 46

When his formidable landlady confiscates his beloved musical instrument, the kongoma, as ransom for unpaid rent, the penniless musician Marigo gets hold of a lottery ticket and dreams of a better future. To keep the ticket safe, he glues it to the back of his door. On the day of the draw, lady luck shines on Marigo. His is the winning ticket. But it is glued to the door… 

The project Histoires de petites gens was to include three medium-length films that together would form a feature film, one film being shot per year: Le franc in 1994, La petite vendeuse de soleil in 1995 and L’apprenti voleur in 1996. Unfortunately, Mambéty only completed up to the first cut of La petite vendeuse de soleil, which producer Silvia Voser finished in 1999, a year after his death.

“I am interested in marginalized people, because I believe that they do more for the evolution of a community than the conformists. Marginalized people bring a community into contact with a wider world. /…/ I do not want to remain forever pessimistic. That is why I have fished out cases where man, taken individually, can defeat money. Think of Le franc. The hero of the film is going crazy because of a lottery ticket, but he manages to hold on because he has the power of dreaming. In La petite vendeuse de Soleil, all the protagonist wants is to sell her magazines, but money comes to subvert her plan. A rich man comes along, and a magazine that should cost 5 francs is sold for 500 francs. Thus, the rich man creates a problem, but she manages to escape this problem, because she dreams of something better.”
– Djibril Diop Mambéty, Transition

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