7TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FILM SERIES
You never know where life will take you.
New England Premiere: LILI AND THE BAOBAB
France, no rating, 90 minutes
Romane Bohringer in a scene from Lili and the Baobab
Sunday, April 6 | 7:30 PM
Lili (Romane Bohringer), a freelance photographer from Cherbourg in Normandy, has been hired to document new infrastructures in her town's sister community in Senegal. The entire village turns out to welcome her, their affection immediate and genuine. Lili is encouraged to make herself at home, but as an unmarried, childless woman of 33 she is a curiosity. As a stranger, she is most at ease in her role as photographer. She focuses her camera on the villagers and their profoundly communal existence, and her photography becomes a means of communication and a salve for her own isolation. Meanwhile, she forms an intuitive bond with Aminata, an unmarried woman whose quiet independence mirrors Lili's. By the time Lili returns to France, something has shifted within her, and she looks at her life through new eyes. As she searches for a way to remain connected to her sister village, Lili is led back to her friendship with Aminata.
Bohringer's superb performance anchors a striking film in which Lili's emotional journey is visually connected with the landscape she inhabits, be it the ochre plains of Africa or the forested seaside of Normandy. Lili's story is a distinctly modern one, suggesting themes of economic migration, colonialism and cultural dividesóbut subtly, gently. This is a filmmaker who has confidence in her audience, trusting us to interpret what we will.