The Revolution Won’t Be Televised, a title referencing the famous poem and song by Gil Scott-Heron, is about the power of words in the fight to win back democracy for the people of Senegal.
Directed and produced by Rama Thiaw, best known for her 2009 documentary on Senegal’s youth resistance, Boul Fallé, la Voie de la lute (The Way of the Fight) this documentary – in Wolof and French – tells the story of three friends, Thiat, Kilifeu and Gadiaga who establish the Y’en a Marre (We are fed up) movement.
This is in response to President Abdoulaye Wade’s corruption of the Constitutional Council in 2012 in order to make himself eligible as a candidate for a controversial third term in the country’s elections.
Through sometimes-blurry, real-to-life cinematography, viewers at the Durban International Film Festival (and on DStv’s ED channel) will learn how protest is not part of the country’s culture.
For Keur Gui, mobilisation of the people is most effectively achieved through song and dance in peaceful demonstrations against a corrupt system.
The film is interposed with personal accounts of the activists themselves, as well as interviews with the president by a French television broadcaster.
While it is a striking depiction of the people’s revolution in Senegal, its conclusion is unsatisfying, leaving viewers wondering about Y’en a Marre’s next move.