Over the Forest


8 minutes, Fon, French, With English subtitles | 2022

Fonkpame. South Benin. In a world where the beginning and the end travel on the same track, death is something to be kept close to, not to be afraid of, part of life itself. So much so as not to die when you die, but to become a spirit. Twins, perfect and sacred, are special beings as are the mothers who conceive them. They live and are cared for forever among the people of the village, first in the form of flesh and blood, then in the form of wood. Statuettes that welcome the spirit of the dead twin and keep him alive. For this reason, Hortence and the Voodoo mothers look after, treat and respect them as if they were alive: washing, feeding and dressing them. Benin is the cradle of Voodoo, it was born here and has been recognized as an official religion. Hortence follows its dictates. She had three twin births so she is a divinity in her village. Four twins died and live in the form of statues, two remained alive. Chancelle and Chancelline walk through the forest every morning to reach the school. Here they attend courses in French, mathematics, geography. The tools to learn a job, to build a future and push themselves towards change. Unaware of the strength of their gesture, they face a society where becoming an adult is a privilege. Where only the chosen ones can cross the forest to reach an often denied future.

Still frame


2022 | 31° FESCAAAL Festival Cinema Africano Asia America LatinaMilano, Italy



Direction, cinematography, sound: Jacopo Marzi

Co-cinematographer: Davide Bertuccio

Sound Design: Lorenzo Sattin

Music: Djembe Serigne Maguette

Production: We World Onlus, JM Films

Supported by Canon

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