GOD'S THE ONE TO TELL
(C'est à Dieu qu'il faut le dire, 2010.
Screenplay and directing: Elsa Diringer. Color, 19 min. No genre)
Being an immigrant in a quite different country is a heavy burden, and what happens when one is Kumba (Tatiana Rojo), an Ivory Coast Muslim woman taking care of her children Bakari, (Bakari Soumahoro), an 8-month-old boy and Adja (Binton Sylla), a 10-year-old girl? Even worse, Kumba needs to work as a janitor during the graveyard shift and make wonders in order to fulfill her duties simultaneously lacking the good will of other people such as her neighbor Maïmouna (Fatoumata Diarra), who scolds her heartily but does not help her at all.
«God’s the One to Tell» is the phrase that Kumba tells Adja when the girl refuses to pray arguing that she is sad after being hit by her mother while she was making fun of her brother, who spent the whole night alone and now needs new diapers because he stinks.
Resembling a documentary and showing a daily horror for lots of people in many countries, the film is inspired in real events captured in a Claude Mouriéras’ film. This picture features a real Ivory Coast actress who speaks Dioula with an authentic accent in order to add reality and that learned about the film via Internet. The story reflects the existential anguish of the one surviving by means of odd jobs, pushing their lives to the limit in order to earn peanuts, and the lack of solidarity of the ones being in touch with these people, like the janitor supervisor, a slavedriver who is looking for the slightest chance to push her subordinates, like the one portrayed by George López in Ken Loach’s “Bread and Roses” (2000).
This is a deeply moving picture, in which the director is committed not only to show this reality, but also to invite the audience to change it.