Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Lingui tells the story of Amina (Achouackh Abakar Souleymane), a practising Muslim in Chad, and her 15-year-old daughter, Maria (Rihane Khalil Alio). When Amina learns that her daughter is pregnant and wants an abortion in a strict religious community where such a procedure is illegal and condemned, the two must embark on a dangerous journey together, meeting other women along the way who are willing to put their own lives and careers at risk to help. This is an incredibly moving film, only furthered by the beautiful cinematography that highlights the vibrant colours and landscapes of Haroun’s country.

Lingui shows such an incredible bond between Amina and Maria simply by following their daily lives. These two women truly only have each other to rely on; Achouackh Abakar Souleymane and Rihane Khalil Alio are mesmerising as these leads. Their acting is reserved yet poignant, much like the entirety of the film, following Haroun’s more subtle approach.

The effect this patriarchal society has not only on them, but all of the women in their community, is blatantly obvious. Any time a man is seen on screen or even spoken about there is a feeling of unease in the air. But this oppression that exists all around them only brings these women in the community closer together in the resilient fight against these forces. Despite these obstacles, the two persevere, and we get to witness just how far a mother will go for the safety and dignity of her child.

There is a show of such bravery and strength in Lingui from all of the women involved who were once strangers to each other but come together in sisterhood, and these subtle moments of protest against unfair laws used to keep women subservient are inspiring.



CAST: Youssouf Djaoro, Rihane Khalil Alio, Mounira Michala, Achouackh Abakar Souleymane

DIRECTOR: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

WRITER: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

SYNOPSIS: After Amina learns her 15-year-old daughter is pregnant, they search for a way to get her an abortion.