In Koutagou, in Liré, land is priceless

  • A Koutagou, à Liré, la terre n'a pas de prix
© Gérard Moreau
Genre : Social
Type : Documentary
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2015
Format : Mid-length
Running time : 52 (in minutes)

Once upon a time, there was a wise and powerful king… his counsellors asked him to change an ancestral law that forbade the sale of land. Will he resist these people who want to get hold of the land?
The tale introduces us to a custom that is still alive in Africa : in the North of the Republic of Benin, land is neither bought nor sold!
If some of the older generation are attached to the ancient rules, it is because "they exclude nobody, everyone can have access to the land". The earth that we dig is alive. Sacred forests, rituals and sacrifices maintain the respect due to Mother Earth.
At the same time, in Liré in France, a farmer says that for him individual ownership of the land is not an end in itself. Thanks to a  not-for-profit association Terre de liens he was able to settle on the land without having to buy it.
When it was time to take his decision, the king had a calabash brought before him. What ruse will he use to get his way ?
This documentary tale shows how ancient African customs and recent practices in France converge to wrest the land from the ruthless laws of the market.


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