THE PRESIDENT

LE PRESIDENT

By Jean Pierre BEKOLO

WELTFILM GMBH - as PROD

Drama - Completed 2013

The President is an allegory about the men who run Africa. We know they all like to see themselves as wild beasts – panther, crocodile, lion – if not as gods of Africa. The President tries to clear a place for film in the arena of African politics, where truth is sometimes stranger than fiction

Festivals
& Awards

Durban Intern. Film Festival 2013
    • Year of production
    • 2013
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • CAMEROON, GERMANY
    • Languages
    • FRENCH, ENGLISH
    • Duration
    • 63 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Jean Pierre BEKOLO
    • Writer(s)
    • Jean Pierre BEKOLO
    • Producer(s)
    • Jean Pierre BEKOLO, Kristina KONRAD (weltfilm GmbH)
    • Synopsis
    • I’ve seen poverty in Africa. I went to Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya’s largest slum and the biggest in the southern hemisphere. But I also saw a country struck by a “ghost”. I watched a president disappear just a few days before the forthcoming presidential elections. I saw an
      aging president in such a young country, near to the end of his reign. I saw a people that live in ignorance of their history. I saw old people, who till now had remained silent, begin to speak;
      I saw young people, who till now had made do with just getting by, begin to get angry. I saw intellectuals fi nally start speaking the truth. I saw foreigners who had stayed away start to come in. I saw a country undergoing metamorphosis. That country was Cameroon.
      This film is a blend of fact and fiction, and it shows the end of a system, capturing the early warning signs of an irreversible process in its most anodyne details: a new kind of story.
      Vanessa is a 17-year old mother whose baby is stolen by a major child traffi cking network in which high-ranking State offi cials are implicated. She engages in an eight-month sit-in protest at the hospital, until she is forcibly ejected by the authorities. But Vanessa’s case becomes an affair of State. The Republic is shaken by a baby.
      The old filmmaker Dikongue decides to tell the side of the history of the birth of Cameroon that has been hidden till now by the regime. He goes to see his old primary school classmate Ninga Tjai, who joined the resistance leader Um Nyobe.
      The dissident Mboua Massok approaches the statue of Marshal Leclerc in Douala armed with a hammer, intent on destroying it. He gets himself arrested and imprisoned.
      A young man is killed in Deido by a gang of Chinese motorbike taxi drivers. The gang has been a law unto itself in a city which has no public transportation. The incident leads to violent clashes between the group and the residents of Deido.
      As the specter of the end of his era looms, the lost president, his chauffeur and bodyguard are in the bush looking for the road to the great river and his fi rst wife. In a refl ective mood, he takes stock of his life, and the end result is not a positive one. He will not return to the capital, because the process unleashed by his departure cannot be stopped, now that it has begun. The old methods by which he destroyed his people to keep them in check no longer work. He will have to organize his own disappearance.
    • Partners & financing
    • Canal + Africa
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