Animated Feature Films
In French with English and Slovenian subtitles
Script: Marguerite Abouet
Animation: Virginie Hanrigou
Music: Paul Lavergne
Sound: Pierre Aretino
Cast: Aïssa Maïga, Tella Kpomahou, Tatiana Rojo, Jacky Ido, Emile Abossolo M'bo, Eriq Ebouaney
Producers: Antoine Delesvaux, Clément Oubrerie, Joann Sfar, Mayumi Pavy
Distribution: French Institute
In cooperation with Cinémathèque d’Afrique de l’Institut français.
Welcome to Yopougon, a working-class neighbourhood of Abidjan in the late 1970s, renamed Yop City – to sound like an American movie! This is home to Aya and her two friends, Adjoua and Bintou. They are 19 years old, a time in your life when everything seems possible. But while Aya would like to become a doctor one day, her friends are more into nightclubbing at the local "maquis" and hunting for a husband. Around this dynamic trio, we come across characters with diverse destinies like Ignace, Aya's runaround father, who juggles several "offices", Moussa, the son of the powerful Bonaventure Sissoko, who relies on his Toyota to pick up girls. There's also Fanta and Koro, the mothers who try to protect their daughters. Or Grégoire, the "Parisian", who blows his cash at the famous hotel Ivoire.
A true ensemble comedy, Aya of Yop City is a chronicle of an unexpected Africa, modern and urban.
Aya de Yopougon sprung from the desire to relate the story of a happy childhood in the suburbs of Abidjan, as well as to tell the story of a country. A story which strives to offer the vision of an Africa that is rarely seen today amid media reports that show us too much of how Africans die, and not enough of how Africans live. In contrast, animated motion pictures and youth literature depict an Africa of legends and folklore, light years away from the reality of modern Africa.
Aya de Yopougon is a fictional story that testifies to humanity and relationships without being arrogant or condescending. It allows us to cross the racial and geographic borders that otherwise stop us westerners from seeing Africa free of any moral or lesson-giving observations.
-Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie