'Stark but surprisingly tender and beautifully-made'
Keith Shiri, BFI
'The chance to see a part of the world we'd otherwise never know'
Norman Wilner, Now Toronto
It'd be a slow weekend at the U.S. box office if only four new American feature films were released. But for Nigerien cinema, it's an entirely different matter. Since the turn of the decade, only four features have hailed primarily from the West African nation, so what a treat it is to be able to catch the fourth to date, award-winning filmmaker Rahmatou Keita's The Wedding Ring, at LFF 2016. Rare to get such a chance, rarer still when the film is also directed, written by, and starring women. Screening in the Contemporary World Cinema strand at Toronto earlier this month, where it received its premiere, and due to make only its second festival screening of the year in London, Keita's first non-documentary film tells the story of a Sahelian woman of noble birth and educated abroad, returning to her home in the Sultinate of Zinder, suffering from lost love and struggling to re-adapt to this more traditional way of life. It's certain to be one of the most unique and valuable viewing experiences at LFF for me this year.