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Waiting for Men

filmmaker : Katy Léna Ndiaye
Composer : Erwin Vann
France, 2007
Production : Néon rouge

French, English


In the red city of Oulata, on the far edge of the Sahara desert, an alien world exists. Men travel long distances for work and are away for months. But three women refuse to let their lives stop whilst the men are away. They paint beautiful patterns on the city walls, play games and speak refreshingly about what it means to be women waiting for men.

Tënk's film review

Mauritanian women have a reputation for assertiveness, and those who are given a voice in this film by Katy Léna Ndiaye are no exception to the rule. They serve tea and it flows and spurts. Their word is free. But once married, their bodies belong to their husbands. Katy Ndiaye is indiscreet. She wants to know everything. They answer her straightforwardly.
The red ochres of the walls, the shimmering colors of the fabrics, the sensual words, the kneading of the colored plaster... It is because her camera is close to the gestures, the colours, the looks that Katy Lena Ndiaye escapes the beautiful image to capture the rhythm of the beings and that she allows these women time to exist on the screen. No identification, no folklorization. "There is a lot of modesty behind these paintings": they are a way of seducing without using words. This is exactly what this beautiful film does, which engraves in our memory the confounding greatness of a culture where the essential is expressed through gestures of art.

Olivier Barlet
Critique de cinéma et rédacteur pour Africultures

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Katy Léna Ndiaye

Née au Sénégal en 1968, Katy Léna Ndiaye est une journaliste diplômée de l'IHECS (Institut des Hautes Etudes des Communications Sociales) à Bruxelles. Après ses études elle a travaillé pour RTL et le CIRTEF. Elle a notamment présenté le magazine "Reflets Sud" (TV5Monde) avant de passer derrière la caméra. Ses films "Traces empreintes de femmes" et "En attendant les hommes" ont reçu de nombreuses distinctions. Parallèlement à son parcours de cinéaste, Katy a travaillé pour la télévision. Elle a présenté puis réalisé "Reflets Sud" et "Afrique Plurielle" (de 2000 à 2018), productions du CIRTEF, diffusées sur TV5 Monde et la RTBF. Depuis 2013, elle développe des projets à travers Indigo Mood, sa société de production installée à Dakar.

Other films in the collection: Docmonde