Lingui, The Sacred Bonds

Dir: Mahamat Saleh Haroun

Chad / France / Germany / Belgium


87 mins



Achouackh Abakar Souleymane, Rihane Khalil Alio, Youssouf Djaoro

Celebrated Chadian auteur Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s (Abouna, Daratt, A Screaming Man) vital new drama explores the bonds of loyalty between a mother and daughter and the quietly heroic individualism of ordinary people’s lives.

On the outskirts of Chadian capital N’Djamena, single mother and practicing Muslim Amina (Achouackh Abakar Souleymane) finds out that her 15-year-old daughter Maria (Rihane Khalil Alio) is pregnant. Maria wants an abortion, but in a country where it is legally and morally condemned, Amina is in a difficult position. To honour the Lingui – the sacred bonds that bind humanity, an idea integral to African culture – should she urge her daughter to have her baby in line with the tenets of her faith, or practice mother-daughter solidarity and support her right to choose?

Exploring the scale of gender imbalances across Chadian society and the secret, intimate female communities that exist in response to the official communities led by its men, Haroun’s profoundly humane and beautifully realised drama is powered by Abakar’s towering performance as a woman caught between her faith and her love for her daughter in a struggle for survival in which everything is at stake.

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