AFF 2008 Reviews

The Tree of Ghibet

D: Nevina Satta, Amedeo D'Adamo; with Corinne Kameny, André Bang, Elisee Koundé.

A small boy (Koundé) is left in the city by his aunt to fend for himself and finds himself taken in by a witch and her gang of little thieves. If that sounds fantastical, it belies this hard-hitting drama that owes more to Ken Loach than Eli Roth. Semi-improvised by the real street-children of Douala in Cameroon for the Traveling Film School charity, this is a stark lesson in the unbearable hardships of life in one of the world's poorest nations. The same social realism is what makes the witch Ghibet – part pimp, part savior to the children – a witch. In a nation where abandoning a child for "demoniacal possession" is legal, Ghibet's visions are no more mysterious than a stick. So it's first-time actress Kameny's weird, erratic, and pained performance as Ghibet that grounds this rough-hewn film in stinking, despairing reality.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Richard Whittaker
AFF Review: <i>Ale</i>
AFF Review: Ale
Pro-wrestling documentary with a micro-focus on personality

Oct. 26, 2020

AFF Interview: Taking the <i>Blinders</i> Off
AFF Interview: Blinders
Vincent van Horn takes the scary path to Hollywood

Oct. 23, 2020

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle