The Wedding Ring
Magaajyia Silberfeld, Aïchatou Moussa, Aïchatou Lamine Fofana,
The Wedding Ring is a rare achievement, a wondrously complex dramatic feature directed by an African woman that explores female desires and empowerment in a traditional Muslim society. It also comes from one of the world’s most impoverished countries, one that barely has a film industry. After attending college in Europe, Tiyaa (Magaajyia Silberfeld, the daughter of director Rahmatou Keïta) returns to Niger, but lingering romantic daydreams about the handsome young man she left behind disrupt her reintegration into village life. According to custom, women are not supposed to have such thoughts, let alone be sexual outside of marriage. As Tiyaa grapples with her conflicted feelings, her best friend takes her to a sage who advises her to take part in a ceremony at the new moon that will help clarify things. While she waits out the changing lunar phases, Tiyaa interacts with a variety of women who also challenge traditional norms, and Keïta employs a fresh approach to portray their complicated lives. From the landscapes immersed in sandy-colored architecture to the blue-hued fashions characteristic of the region, The Wedding Ring paints a visually stimulating picture. In her first narrative feature, director Rahmatou Keïta proves herself to be a strikingly accomplished storyteller—just like her griot ancestors.