Daam is an intellectual, a political leader who climbs so fats the rungs of the hierarchical ladder in politics, before tumbling all the way down to decline. A broken man, he is to lose his prestige being caught in the net of his family and friend's nasty tricks and cruelty, those very people who yesterday were hovering round him for help. Daam is bigamous. Gagneri his first wife is a lovely and warm-hearted woman, but she is barren. Yet, she is a real support to her husband in moments of happiness and hardship as well. His second wife, who is fortunate enough to have children is a selfish and timeversing lady. She is to bring misfortune to the family for betraying and leaving her husband when he is left without any financial means.
Tableau Ferraille tells the story of Daam (played by the Senegalese music superstar Ismael Lô), a European-trained and politically naive politician, who must choose between the two social paradigms represented by his two wives. His first wife, Gagnesiri, is a dignified village woman, dedicated to husband, family and community. Daam and Gagnesiri are incapable of conceiving a child, so Daam takes a second wife, Kiné, a beautiful, well-connected, western-educated woman, eager to marry an ambitious young politician.
The president and his corrupt cronies plan to use their connections with Daam to enrich themselves, and Daam's decision to take on a second wife plays right into the president's self-serving hands.
Like such past Senegalese masterpieces as Ousmane Sembene's Xala and Djibril Diop Mambety's Hyenas, Tableau Ferraille deplores the exploitation of the promise of true African independence by a corrupt post-colonial elite.
Mousa Sène Absa | Senegal 1997 | 1h32m | 35mm | French and Wolof with English subtitles | 15