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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© 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?.
ENGLISH PRESS :
"A Trip to the Country is a distinctive socio-political travelogue for inquisitive festivals and educational TV audiences."
"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