Q&A with Director Alice Diop and Actress Guslagie Malanda
The Africa Center is pleased to partner with Film Forum to host a Q&A with Director Alice Diop and Actress Guslagie Malanda moderated by Yolanda Sangweni on Saturday, January 14th following the 5:30 screening.
When asked why she killed her infant daughter, the accused, a young Senegalese-French woman – a PhD student writing on Wittgenstein – answers, “I don’t know. I hope this trial can help me understand.” What would compel such a shocking act, and why would an accomplished writer obsessively attend the woman’s trial? The complex mysteries at the heart of this absorbing, wholly original take on both the courtroom drama and the African immigrant experience, unfold like a Russian nesting doll of gazes and projections. Is the accused a liar, a victim, a sorceress, or all of the above? In her first narrative feature, Senegalese-French documentarian Alice Diop uses her sharp eye for political realism to craft a captivating portrait of motherhood amid cultural isolation.
French screenwriter and director Alice Diop was born in 1979. After studying history and visual sociology at the Sorbonne, she began her career as a documentary filmmaker. Her short and medium length films selected and awarded prizes in several festivals include LES SÉNÉGALAISES ET LA SÉNÉGAULOISE (2007), LA MORT DE DANTON (2011), LA PERMANENCE (2016) and TOWARDS TENDERNESS (2016), which won the César for Best Short Film in 2017. Her feature length documentary WE (2021) won the Best Documentary Award as well as Best Film in the Encounters section of the Berlin Film Festival in 2021. SAINT OMER is Alice Diop’s fiction feature film debut.
Born in 1990, Guslagie Malanda made her feature film debut in the lead role in MY FRIEND VICTORIA by Jean-Paul Civeyrac in 2014, alongside Pascal Greggory. She holds a degree in Art History and has worked widely as an independent curator.
Yolanda Sangweni is NPR’s Vice President of Programming and New Content Development. In this position, she is a key member of the programming leadership team, helping drive NPR’s strategy to reach new audiences, including developing new programs and initiatives. She also serves as the executive sponsor for several podcasts, including Throughline and Code Switch, and acts as programming’s senior liaison with the Marketing division.