A Tale of Courage and Female Leadership

Under the mysterious veil of Senegalese twilight, Awa Moctar Gueye’s film “Timis” emerges as a captivating tale, weaving threads of audacity and female leadership into the darkness of a market in Dakar.

In this kingdom of children, Binta, nicknamed for a childhood weakness, rises against the shadows that frighten young hearts. Guided by destiny, she braves the forbidden, becoming the leader of a group of children in the face of the enigmatic Pa Kong-Kong. Inspired by a real-life figure, this silent “fake Santa Claus” embodies terror, but Binta, carrying the burden of bedwetting, transforms into a courageous heroine.

The story unfolds in the nuances of Timis, between dog and wolf, where the strangeness of the place intertwines with frightening animals and haunting music. The director, Awa Moctar Gueye, a master of arts and culture, paints a fresco where social themes and Senegalese customs intertwine.

Through menacing shadows and mystical lighting, the film unveils the power of women. Binta, a pure and innocent girl, takes the reins of the narrative, revealing the audacity and determination necessary to assert her place.

The narrative unfolds like a children’s game, where the rules can change at any moment. The song “Xalé xalé” (Children children play) resonates, highlighting the children’s kingdom and their initiation into fear. The dedication to Papa Semba Dieng, the real Pa Kong-Kong, adds an authentic dimension to the story.

In the heart of this darkness, the film is anchored in reality, fighting against patriarchy. Binta Sané, in her bravery, embodies female leadership, defying societal expectations.

The use of animals, cold colors, and shadows are all elements that arouse fear without diverting attention from the underlying message.

“Timis” transcends the genre of the teen horror movie to become a contemporary tale of female emancipation. In the darkness, Binta lights the way to bold leadership, inviting everyone to challenge the shadows that hang over their own kingdom.

Kosi Sessi

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