Salah: An African toubab?

English (subtitled), 67 min, 2008, The Netherlands

Every African wants to go to Europe is the common public opinion in Europe. But Salah Salahina Sounfountera of Mali is different. He chooses to stay home and build his own business as a tourist guide. He is a modern man with western ideas who wants the best of both worlds, not realizing that he will fall into the gap between two cultures. His daily reality is a hard one. His ideas conflict with the expectations of both his family and his wife. He is seen as a toubab, an outsider, a white man. The question 'Who am I?' cuts to the core and he constantly needs to prove that he is one of them. To demonstrate that he has not become godless, he has to be seen praying and helping his relatives. But he strongly opposes ingrained customs and traditions that encourage dependence and inertia. In this intimate portrait of a young man's struggle with his identity, we get to see a different picture of contemporary West-Africa.

Margriet Jansen
Creative Crew
Jackó van 't Hof
Arjanne Laan, Cyrille Montulet
Babbe de Thouars
Jan Cremers