Infusing human warmth and passion into a magical tale of a mutating healing spirit, Apolline Traore creates a character who is both human and miraculous in her wonderful featurette, <i>Kounandi</i>.
Just when a couple bring their marital dispute in front of the village king, a strange woman mysteriously enters the village and gives birth to a baby girl before dying. The king baptizes the child Kounandi and bequeaths her care to the couple in hopes that she may resolve their differences. But their problems endure over the years, and Kounandi, who seems to embody their marital stagnation, grows up a dwarf. When the family dissolves, Kounandi is rejected by the villagers until a kind farmer, Karim, offers to help her. She quickly falls in love with him but finds out he is married to a woman who is chronically ill. Unable to win his heart, Kounandi must make a decision about what role she will play in Karim's life.
Poetic and beautifully crafted, <i>Kounandi</i> is a heartwarming and emotionally moving tale about love and the cycles of life, and marks an auspicious directing debut for Apolline Traore.
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