Introduced by Alassane Paap Sow

Alassane Paap Sow teaches Wolof at UC Berkeley.

Based on a novel by Ousmane Sembene, this Senegalese fable expertly uses its deceptively simple story-a husband and wife embark on a journey to cure their dying infant child-to expose the ills of a nation. Seeking aid for their baby, the fisherman Thierno and his wife travel from their small village to the capital of Dakar, hoping to find a doctor but instead becoming trapped in a quicksand of government bureaucracy and urban indifference. Navigating (or trying to) among the poor and the moneyed, the rude and the kind, Thierno must endure a bus ride to his final, even more distressing destination. Director Delgado worked with Sembene as an assistant, and with Niiwam he comes into his own, adding his own distinct touches and directorial flair to the master's pointed critiques of modern Senegal.

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