Franceline Oubda
             Burkina Faso

Originally published in Sisters of the Screen: Women of Africa on Film Video and Television. Africa World Press, Trenton, NJ,  2000.

Interview held at the 15th Edition of FESPACO in February-March 1997, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Translated from French.

You have certainly been visible on the media landscape in Burkina Faso.  How did you enter the world of cinema?

I am a director at the National Television of Burkina Faso.  I see film and television as a vocation.  I entered in the field of television in 1985, through a recruitment campaign for journalists to enhance national television programming.  Once there, I observed that there was no programming for women.  Thus, I decided to create a program called "Women and Development", which actually focused on the participation of women in the development process.  After creating these programs, I went into directing.

For me, directing is not making films as such, but it is a means of expressing myself in relationship to women.  Whether it is a panel discussion, or field reporting, or a more elaborate treatment such as a documentary film, I do it all.  It is in this context that I evolved in this profession, and the reason that I became a filmmaker, especially in documentary filmmaking.

Would you say that your role as filmmaker is to focus on the experiences and conditions of women?  Do you expect to work solely on topics that relate to women?

I think that women are in a better position to deal with the question of women, because they have lived these experiences.  If I broach the problem of polygamy, even if I am not myself in a polygamous marriage, perhaps I have a sister, a mother, or aunt who lives this situation.  Indirectly, I have already seen how this woman experiences this life; I am a privileged witness who treats this subject.  That is why I think a woman is in a better position to deal with the question of women, because she takes on the role of educator in society.

If you were to go into a household and see a woman and a man, you will find that it is the woman who is the backbone of the household.  Even if you speak about a man, the care that surrounds and supports him is provided by the woman, she is the foundation.  She prepares the children's meals, she dresses them, she nurses them, as well as her husband.  I think that the woman is in a better position to talk about women, because she lives it both directly and indirectly.

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