DANBÉ, HEAD UP / Danbé, la tête haute
North American Premiere • TV Movie • Drama • France, 2014
Blu-ray • Color • 88 min
Directed by: Bourlem Guerdjou
Written by: Pierre Linhart, Bourlem Guerdjou, based on the book of Aya Cissoko and Marie Desplechin called “Danbé”
Produced by: Thomas Anargyros and Edouard De Vesinne (EuropaCorp Television)
Coproduced by: Arte France.
Cast: Tatiana Rojo, Annabelle Lengronne, Assa Sylla, Bruno Lochet
International Sales: EuropaCorp, www.europacorp.com
Original Broadcast: Arte, January 23, 2015
Danbé is the Bambara word for dignity, and the struggle for dignity is the theme of this inspiring biopic of two women torn between rage and hope. In the Ménilmontant quarter of Paris, 1986, a young Aya stands helplessly by as her father and sister are killed in an arson fire. Less than a year later, she loses a brother to meningitis. Crushed by these losses, Aya’s mother, Masire, a Malian immigrant, looks to redress the family’s suffering by seeking compensation in the French courts, but her anger grows along with the reams of bureaucratic red tape. Aya, meanwhile, discovers that boxing is the perfect outlet for her frustrations, and her talents are going to point to a way out that her mother can’t see. Co-written with Pierre Linhart and directed by Bourlem Guerdjou, whose first feature, Living In Paradise, won the 1998 Best First Film prize in Venice, and loosely based on the Aya Cissoko and Marie Desplechin biography Danbé, which won France’s prestigious grand prix de l’héroïne Madame Figaro.