Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso : its tower blocks and shanty towns, the moder city's opulence rubbing shoulders with the poverty of the suburbs. Through the family of Fousseini, a devout Muslim and upholder of Islamic tradition, "Haramuya" paints the portrait of a city caught in the twin traps of modernism and traditionalism. Fousseini tries to run his family in accordance with his ancestral code of honour. One of his sons, a projectionist, supports the whole family against his wife's better judgment. The other son hangs around in Ouagadougou all day, searching for his fiancée...
Production and distribution (4)
"Haramuya" is an urban chronicle. The film is a mosaic, a portrait gallery of characters interwoven with their situations. The city has commandeered its inhabitants' lives. Used to community living within a system of traditional laws, they find themselves in an impersonal housing complex where the Law is based on modern legitimacy. The aim of the film is not to condemn a system but to denounce its effects, i.e. the kinds of behaviour each person may be faced with. In a way it is an alarm bell against cultural dispossession, for those who consume the image of others take on their culture."