In 1997, I witnessed several troubling events in Cameroon: in my village a young boy was nearly lynched by mob “justice”. I went to a wedding and learned that, by law, the husband is the ruler of the family. CHIEF! is a documentary chronicle of the trials and tribulations of daily life under a dictatorship. Jean-Marie Teno
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© 1999, Les Films du Raphia
CHIEF! is a documentary chronicle of the trials and tribulations of daily life under a dictatorship.
During the month of December, 1997, I witnessed several troubling events in Cameroon: In my village a young boy was nearly lynched by mob “justice” in a lawless state. I went to a wedding and learned that, by law, the husband is the ruler of the family. A highly respected journalist was imprisoned without a trial for writing an article about the health of the president.
While seemingly unrelated, these incidents bear witness to disturbing tendencies in Cameroon today: they are all point to the ways in which the abuse of power permeates everyday life in an authoritarian society.
CHIEF! brings these events together to allow us to reflect upon the current state of Cameroonian society with its hierarchies, inequalities and lack of respect for human rights–all the by-products of a dictatorship.
Very powerful and eloquent... It underscores, in a neat presentation, the challenges Africa faces in establishing rights and accountability at the village level, between the sexes and for persons of power - be they traditional or political.
A compelling indictment of patriarchy and the powerful - and a call for a continuing struggle for human rights.
Chef! is a brisk and focused look at a nation struggling uphill against corruption and archaic social norms. Programmers attuned to women's, African and political activist issues will find this a worthy item.
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