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Ramata-Toulaye Sy Banel & Adama Review

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Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s Banel & Adama – 2023 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 4

Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s Banel & Adama – 2023 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 4

It’s extremely rare for a first-time filmmaker to crack the competition and this is case it is African cinema that is being feted for this remarkable feat. A project that gained tremendous word-of-mouth last year in the different labs it attended, Ramata-Toulaye Sy‘s Banel & Adama stars non-actors Mamadou Diallo and Khady Mane.

Banel and Adama are fiercely in love. The young married couple lives in a remote village in northern Senegal. For them, nothing else exists. Yet their perfect everlasting love is on a collision course with their community’s customs. Because in this world, there is no room for passion, let alone chaos.

Current temp: On our end we might have been expecting paydirt with what is a rare inclusion of a first time director in the competition. With fourteen of our twenty critics we have an average score of 2.6 – which pushes this near the bottom of the comp offerings so far.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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