Senegal’s 2012 presidential campaign was controversial because its incumbent president, Abdoulaye Wade, presented his candidature to run for a third consecutive term (being first elected in 2000), a move considered unconstitutional by many of his electors. THE REVOLUTION WON’T BE TELEVISED (RAMA THIAW, 2016) follows Y’en a marre, the country’s biggest movement of protestation against Wade’s campaign in the weeks before the elections.
Presented through the eyes of rap group Keur Gui’s members Thiat and Kilifeu, the documentary boils with determination and freshness. Alternating political meetings with rap concerts and street protests, the film’s general atmosphere and tight rhythm shows true flair and breathes powerful confidence in its attempt of presenting the unfolding Senegalese revolution. Seeing fires burning in the streets of Dakar should be no sign of hope, but Y’en a marre‘s undertaking feels far from hopeless when in the hands of the youth of its country. I know too little about Senegalese politics to comment on the legitimacy of their fight, but its common courtesy to respect people who work towards what they believe is right especially when the world ”peaceful” is often used by the movement’s leaders to temper the riotous crowds.
It’s definitely not the first time political activists use rap as a social device for change, but the way THE REVOLUTION WON’T BE TELEVISED presents it seem to showcase it at its full potential, especially since the activists’ pursuit appear attainable. This Rama Thiaw documentary is a story of success, a truly inspirational piece to get hyped for some social activism.
Be sure to check out Cinema Politica’s next screening, SEED: THE UNTOLD STORY (JON BETZ & TAGGART SIEGEL, 2016), a film about the efforts of seed keepers, agricultural workers who try to prevent the extinction of some types of seeds.