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Garderie Nocturen – Night Nursery

Cinema Release: January 6, 2022
Still GARDERIE NOCTURNE (Night Nursery)
© Les Films du Djabadjah
  • Director

    Moumouni Sanou

  • Burkina Faso, France, Germany / 2021
    67 minutes / Original version with German subtitles

  • Original language

    Dioula

In the district town of Bobo-Dioulasso, near Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, sex workers entrust their children to Ms Coda, an elderly woman who has been taking care of countless such charges for decades while their mothers take to the streets at night to work. Over the years, filmmaker Moumouni Sanou has managed to gain the trust of everyone involved in this unique set-up, together with a huge amount of insight into the lives of Odile and Farida, both of whom rely on Ms Coda’s services. He tenderly observes all aspects of their situation, including domestic work, downtime and the most intimate moments of motherhood, as well as their relationship to Ms Coda and how she raises their children. Female experience is at the heart of the film, and men and the fathers of these children remain absent, except in the stories Farida and Odile share of their sex work while at home in their leisure time, which range from amusing to deeply harrowing. Sanou’s careful, respectful gaze makes this film a true testimony to the virtues of horizontal filmmaking, with its heightened sense of attention and sensitivity to the protagonists felt throughout. (Jacqueline Nsiah)

Moumouni Sanou, born in 1987 in Burkina Faso. He studied film and works as an editor, cinematographer and director. GARDERIE NOCTURNE is his first feature-length film.

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Press Comment

"The larger undercurrent here concerns gender expectations in Burkina Faso, a landlocked country which has experienced unrest, but has high levels of development and education. Women aren't just confined to anachronistic concepts of 'separate spheres': forced marriages in villages and urban areas are common, and sex work is a likely fate for women who don't conform. Night Nursery is predicated on the more enlightened view of sex work we have now: an occupation deserving autonomy and respect, but with the double-edged notion of its role in women's continued subjugation. It's a testament to Sanou that he's able to embody these ideas whilst focusing on such quotidian matters, and avoiding any didactic anger." David Katz, cineuropa.org

Production Berni Goldblat. Production company Les Films du Djabadjah (Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso). Written and directed by Moumouni Sanou. Cinematography Pierre Laval. Editing François Sculier. Sound design Ivan Broussegotte. Sound Corneille Houssou. Production manager Berni Goldblat. Co-producers Faissol Gnonlonfin, Meike Martens. Co-production VraiVrai Films, Blinker Filmproduktion. With Odile Kambou, Fatim Tiendrebeogo.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur