In the shadow of Elimane

Director: Hamedine KANE / Senegal


With In the shadow of Elimane, Hamedine, Senegalese exiled in Brussels, had the idea to make a film, his Return to the Native Land. Generously, he invites his French friend, Sylvain, to join him on this journey. But they will run up against the contempt and resistance of Hamedine’s extended family, rural people of Dimar, a small village in northern Senegal. Little by little, this village will switch from “being the filmed object” to “being the actor” of this cinematic gesture, imposing the invocation of their mythical and legendary figure, Elimane Le Grand, famous resistant against the White invader of the 19th century. This film has now become “collective”, linking with poetry the “foreign directors” and the villagers in order to better sketch the portraits of Elimane and also theirs, the last resistants’.

Producer: Rama THIAW / Senegal

Producer’s note

When I read the first version of the project In the shadow of Elimane, I saw a wonderful film with a potential dialogue between two fundamentally opposed filmmakers. With the resistance to being filmed by the people of the native village of Hamedine, who are not favorable to the visit of those “strangers” filming their daily life, I saw a lot of humor and irony. For once, in a documentary, directors of goodwill will experience the limitations of the ethnographic documentary genre, that is filming in situ those who seem to us so far and who in fact are our fellow-men. From then on, the roles will be reversed, the subjects will become actors of their own film. They understand the film as a collective “We” instead of an introspective “I”. It is the modernity of this reflection both in a serious, humorous and poetic tone that made me want to produce this documentary.