Born in Leipzig, Germany in 1965, Cilia's father is from Burkina Faso and her mother is from Germany. She first lived in Germany, then in Burkina Faso, before coming to study in Quebec at the Canadien University. Later she started out her career in animation and she directed and produced several short films with the NFB, including "Naissance" and "La Femme marriée a trois hommes" (1993), "L`Arret d'autobus" (1994) and "The Cora Player" (1996). She has also been assistant on the film "Jonas et Lisa" (1995) from part two of the "Rights from the Heart" collection. Cilia Sawadogo has also produced clips for "Sesame Street" (1992-1993) and numerous illustrations and publicity clips for various companies.
The Cora Player (Click here for short movie)
"Everybody has the right to love freely, blind to covention and social class": The story is set in Burkina Faso. At the Highschool, a young girl gives a photo of herself to the boy she loves. Delighted, he kisses her and then watches as she takes off on her scooter. One day she invites him home to study. When her father finds out they are in love, he gets angry, pushes the young man around, and orders him to play his cora. Then the father throws a few coins to the musician, thus signifying they are not of the same social class. The young man belongs to the griot caste and so he does not have the right to court a young woman outside his caste. The unhappy young man returns home. With the help of the girl and her brothers, the young man manages to sneak onto the girl's property, where her family amd guests are assembled to celebrate a baptism. The adolescents are soon spotted by the father, who again tries to chase the young griot away. Supported by her friends, the young girl protests in song. Angrily brandishing a stick, the father attacks the young people. He is stopped by the patriarch, the supreme authority of the family, who has been watching all along. Thanks to his intervention and to the teenager's solidarity, things will never be the same.
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