Hard at work in her sewing room in Burkina Faso and worlds away from the high fashion runways of Europe, Bintou runs a successful dressmaking business. She works night and day whipping up outfits for white ex-pats who never haggle at her prices as she travels door to door on her bicycle. But the business motivated Bintou has a secret: a 7 year old daughter living in an orphanage, who is now trying via the legal system to reunite with her mother.
Simone Catharina Gaul’s works remains a little too slight and short, sometimes lacking in details, Bintou certainly makes for a compelling subject. It’s a very well shot affair, and Gaul successfully highlights some of the gender inequities and pressures she feels as an unmarried woman with a young child. It’s a country where young women just don’t have a legitimate identity as she strives for something more that isn’t reliant on her finally finding a husband.
It would have been nice to have a have a little more background about her life beyond the present and the culture in Burkina Faso that contributes to Bintou’s motivations, but it’s still an interesting enough effort that’s worth a watch. (Dave Voigt)
Monday, April 29th, Scotiabank 7, 9:30pm
Wednesday, April 30th, ROM, 1:00pm
Friday, May 2nd, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, 6:00pm