The Young Girl
New Digital Restoration
Dounamba Dany Coulibaly, Gogo Danba, Fanta Diabate, Oumou Diarra,
The first feature-length film by a great filmmaker. The eternal story of a young girl who is raped, becomes pregnant, and is then abandoned is agonizingly sad, and the film reveals such inextricable social—and religious—mechanisms that the worst is always sure to come. In this deliberate classic melodrama plot, Cissé brings documentary precision to a depiction of Mali in the grips of rapid urbanization, and to the growing gap between the upper middle class of the villas, the street youths of Bamako, and the dusty dirt roads of the country as it once was. The young deafmute sacrificed by an ambitious imbecile obviously represents the silence imposed on women and the oppressive weight of the patriarchy. The powers of the time were not fooled: Cissé was jailed and the film was banned for three years. . . . Den muso also represents the emergence of an absolutely singular cinematic composition, which combines social observation with an ode to the infinite beauty of the world.