Fad’jal. 1979. Senegal. Written and directed by Safi Faye. In Serer; English subtitles. 112 min.
In Fad’jal, which premiered at Cannes in 1979, the groundbreaking Senegalese-French filmmaker and ethnologist Safi Faye investigates traditions of storytelling through a beautiful portrait of her ancestral farming village. Faye recalls, “Every evening, the children scrambled up into the beautiful kapok trees after getting out of school to gather around the village elder. He would then pass on their history, that which hasn’t been written down. Fad’jal speaks of this, of the foundation of the village and all the events that have since unfolded there. The grandfather speaks of traditional rites of passage and agrarian rites, as well as the origin of this village founded by a woman (Mbang Fadial) around the 16th century.”
New digital preservation by the CNC in collaboration with Safi Faye from the original 16mm negative