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Two Films by Rosine Mbakam at Anthology Film Archives

"Chez Jolie Coiffure" by Rosine Mbakam

CHEZ JOLIE COIFFURE

Sabine’s hands move quickly and precisely as she tightly braids hair in her tiny salon. Sabine is a charismatic, larger-than-life personality crammed into a tiny shop in the immigrant Brussels district of Matonge. Here, she and her employees style extensions and glue on lashes while watching soaps, dishing romantic advice, sharing rumors about government programs to legalize migrants, and talking about life back home in West Africa.
 
A cinematic “chamber piece,” CHEZ JOLIE COIFFURE takes place entirely inside a salon not much larger than a take-out stand. More than a place for women to get their hair done, Jolie Coiffure serves as a community hub for West African women.

Though she has created a home in her own space, Sabine remains an outsider in Belgium. Students and tourist groups made up only of white people walk past, pausing at the window and gawking. (At one point, Sabine urges Mbakam to turn her camera on them so they’ll go away; the director obliges.) When word has it that the immigration police are coming through, she hurriedly turns off all the lights and quickly vanishes out the door.
 
CHEZ JOLIE COIFFURE is a highly revealing documentary, capturing the day-to-day lives and concerns of immigrant West African women in a space they can call their own.

2018, 70 min, digital. In French with English subtitles. Distributed by Icarus Films


 
THE TWO FACES OF A BAMILEKE WOMAN / LES DEUX VISAGES D’UNE FEMME BAMILÉKÉ

Rosine Mbakam left Cameroon at 27 to live in Belgium. Seven years later – having studied film and married a European – she returns, accompanied by her son, to better understand her past and the place she grew up. Mbakam journeys to Tonga, the village of her birth, and to the capital city of Yaoundé, where her mother now lives most of the year. Like many immigrants, she finds herself distant from her home country, yet drawn to its rituals and memories. 
 
TWO FACES is a sharply observed, nuanced, and powerful documentary that captures the relationship between a woman and her mother – and subtly expresses the dislocation of emigration.

2016, 76 min, digital. In French and Bamileke with English subtitles. Distributed by Icarus Films.


SCREENINGS

The screenings will take place at Anthology Film Archives from October 16 to October 22, 2019.

CHEZ JOLIE COIFFURE

  • Oct 16-20 at 6:45pm ​
  • Oct 20 at 4:45pm
  • Oct 21-22 at 8:45pm

THE TWO FACES OF A BAMILEKE WOMAN / LES DEUX VISAGES D’UNE FEMME BAMILÉKÉ

  • Oct 16-20 at 8:45pm ​
  • Oct 19 at 4:45pm
  • Oct 21-22 at 6:45pm
FILMMAKER IN PERSON OCT 16-18!
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