Kitani, my son returns from the groves

Marie Lorillard
46 minutes


March 2013, Northern Ivory Coast… in the village of Fonnikaha. We are awaiting the return of Kitani, the youngest son of a family from the village, who left to undertake his initiation rites in the sacred groves. The Senufo people refer to this initiation as poro. Men and women alike wait with bated breath for the moment when the tchélé, those undertaking the initiations, ‘return from the groves’ and rejoin the community. Are they still alive? Through words and gestures, the women translate their emotions, which this special day arouses. ‘Kitani, my son returns from the groves’ is a poetic documentary of ‘many voices’ filmed around this ritual.

Short biography/filmography of the director: Marie received her doctorate in anthropology from Bordeaux University in 2007, on the theme of oral Senufo traditions in West Africa. She regularly returns to Northern Ivory Coast for research purposes. In 2012, in partnership with the Ethnographic Museum of Bordeaux Segalen University, she directed two short films, the first of which was entitiled ‘Souffrances ordinaires’ (ordinary sufferings). This gave an insight into daily life in a rural Senufo community and received a Workers of the World award at the 2014 Brazilian International Labour Film Festival (BILFF). Her second documentary ‘Kitani, my son returns from the groves’, produced by Les ruines de Carthage, benefitted from funding from the Anako Foundation. The film was made in close collaboration with the Senufo villagers of Fonnikaha in Ivory Coast.

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