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Film / Les Saignantes

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Les Saignantes is a 2005 Cameroonian science-fiction film by Jean Pierre Bekolo, although it really is like nothing else within the genre. The plot follows two young women living in a dystopic Yaoundé, Majolie (Adèle Ado) and Chouchou (Dorylia Calmel), as they attempt to hide the body of a political leader who died during sex. What ensues is a commentary on the political elite, community and womanhood, incorporating elements of Beti spirituality.


Les Saignantes provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Gold Digger: A sympathetic portrayal. The director himself observes that young women in Cameroon are often forced by circumstances to perform sex acts for money and advantages from a very young age, even being encouraged by their families, and the healing ritual of mevungu is performed as a result.
  • Real-Life Super Powers: Many have made the observation that Majolie and Chouchou use bodies as their superpower.
  • Unproblematic Prostitution: Somewhat. Majolie and Chouchou are still not in a position of power.
  • What You Are in the Dark: The director expressed that the constant night served to expose Cameroon with it's true essence.
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  • Women Are Wiser: Justified in that the film focuses on the emancipation and spirituality of women, especially the concept of mevungu which empowers and binds Beti women together through a moral promise.


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