19 06 2008
White man in AfricaShooting got underway this week in Morocco on Le Temps de la kermesse est terminé [loosely translated, “The Party’s Over”], the debut feature by Frédéric Chignac, a seasoned director of documentaries and television reportage.
The film – a contemporary fable about a white man trapped in an African village – stars comedian Stéphane Guillon (who first came to attention on Canal + and has made big-screen appearances, notably in I, Cesar) and rising star Aïssa Maïga (Cristina Comencini’s Black and White [trailer], Abderrahmane Sissako’s Bamako [trailer] and soon to be seen in Gilles Béhat’s Diamond 13).
Le Temps de la kermesse est terminé retraces the misadventures of Alex, who is only supposed to spend a few minutes in Koupala (a little village in the middle of the African desert), just long enough to have a rest and buy some petrol. But he ends up staying much longer than expected when his car breaks down.
Hoping to be rescued by another motorist, Alex has to face facts: hardly anyone ever passes through this village plagued by wind and drought, where the monotonous and listless days all merge into one. Gradually, Alex loses his reference points and certainties as a white man in Africa: his money is of no use and he is confronted with a resistance to change that is unfamiliar and increasingly suffocating.
He even discovers that he has become an important figure, a gift from heaven for this declining village. And when his car finally starts up again, he finds himself faced with a dilemma: should he save himself or the village?
Produced by Jean-François Lepetit for Flach Film, Le Temps de la kermesse est terminé received pre-sales and co-production support from France 3 Cinéma, as well as pre-sales from Canal+ and Ciné Cinéma.
Five weeks of shooting are scheduled in Ouarzazate. Domestic distribution and international sales are currently under negotiation.