DVD A Trip to the Country - Jean-Marie Teno



A Trip to the Country is a voyage in search of the illusion of modernity, which haunts Cameroonian society.

A Trip to the Country questions, sometimes ironically, the notion of development associated in Africa with a “tropical modernity” which can be summarised as follows: Everything from Europe is modern, while all things local are archaic and must be discarded.

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Data sheet

Year: 2000
Format: PAL
Subtitles: Français, English
Running time: 75min
Packaging: Boitier plastique amaray
Country: Cameroon
Director: Jean-Marie Teno

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© 2000, Les Films du Raphia, ZDF/ARTE

After the ravages of slavery and colonialism, the African continent now faces another threat: educational systems which perpetuate inferiority complexes and dependence vis-à-vis the West. This self-destructive mentality also establishes a social hierarchy placing “modern” city dwellers above “backward” rural people.

I decided to retrace the trip I took annually as a child during the school holidays from Yaounde, the big city, to Bandjoun, my village. A Trip to the Country. Along the way, I attempt to understand the hopes, regrets and frustrations of the people I encounter. When possible, I also try to serve as a bridge between city dwellers and villagers.

A Trip to the Country is a personal reflection on our obsession with modernity, our desire to conform to a certain model of “development.” Why do we turn our backs on the possibility of real progress, remaining instead dependent on so-called “aid"? As those who have always profited continue to benefit from this situation, the majority of our populations still live in misery. Is this development?.


"A Trip to the Country is a distinctive socio-political travelogue for inquisitive festivals and educational TV audiences."
— Variety

"This trip to the filmmaker’s past becomes a vision of his country’s possible future, and the delicate balance between past and future that informs so many African films find here a stirring new expression."
— Film Comment

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