Roger, Civil Servant (Roger, le fonctionnaire)Directed by Gaston Kaboré and Ouoba Motandi .
Burkina Faso, 1993, digital video, color, 20 min.
Mòoré with English subtitles.
Roger has just passed the civil service exams with flying colors and applies himself with enthusiasm to the new job he has won. Because of his honesty, assiduity, proficiency, and punctuality, he quickly becomes an object of scorn to his coworkers and superiors, who find his altruism a threat to the system of self-serving complacency they have long enjoyed.
A blacksmith falls off his bicycle when he tries to avoid a tortoise who crosses his path. He brings the animal to his twelve-year-old son, Rabi, who becomes so fascinated that he forgets his chores at his father’s shop. When the angry smith gets rid of the tortoise, it is an elderly neighbor, Pusga, who finds another to console the boy. Rabi wants desperately to tame the animal, and this new obsession leads him to defy paternal authority. Pusga comes to the rescue again, gently opening the boy’s eyes through his Socratic teachings to the visible and invisible ways of nature. Rabi gains access to concepts of liberty, responsibility, and respect for life and, in turn, awakens in the septuagenarian sentiments that had been long buried.
Chronicle of a Declared Failure (Chronique d’un échec annoncé)Directed by Gaston Kaboré.
Burkina Faso, 1993, digital video, color, 22 min.
This caricature of government service tells the story of a man who has just received a ministerial post and wishes to serve his country with honor and competence. Quickly, however, he is sucked into the quicksand of unproductive public servants and paralyzing alliances.