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Sira, une Héroïne Africaine

Burkina Faso / France / Senegal / Germany 2023
produced by
Apolline Traoré, Denis Cougnaud, Guillaume Orignac, Souleymane Kébé, Sarika Hemi Lakhani, Sara Bökemeyer, Verena Kurz, Sidi-Mohamed Cheiguer (executive) for Les Films Selmon, Araucania Films, Sunuy Films, One Fine Day Films, Canal+, TV5
directed by Apolline Traoré
starring Nafisatou Cisse, Mike Danon, Lazare Minoungou, Abdramane Barry, Ruth Werner, Ildevert Meda, Nathalie Vairac, Oumou Ba, Seydou Diallo, Augusta Palenfo, Landy Noura Gala, Kétoura Simpore, Naomie Nemlin, Leila Tall, Kelvin Kafui, Moïse Tiemtore, Rihanata Zongo, Djamila Barry, Hamadoun Kassogué, Aimé Parfait Bationo, Samba Diallo, Amadou Ba, Sidi-Mohamed Cheiguer, Moustapha Brahim, Mohamed Salem Amar, Abdou Razak Traoré, and the voices of Moussa Edward Ouedraogo, Missa N'Dry, Emmanuel Uriel Kouma, Arnaud Ulrich Ouedraogo
written by Apolline Traoré, music by Cyril Morin

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Somewhere in the Sahel region, Africa: Sira (Nafisatou Cisse) leads a simple but reasonable happy life, crossing the desert with her tribe of nomads, and looking forward to nothing more than getting married to her farmer fiancé Jean Sidi (Abdramane Barry). But then the tribe is attacked by a group of armed men led by Yere (Lazare Minoungou), who kill pretty much all the menfolks of their tribe, steal their goats, and then Sira is dragged off by Yere himself who brutally rapes her then leaves her to die - only die Sira doesn't, as she proves to be remarkably resilient and resourceful, following the tyre tracks of Yere's car to his gang's hideout, finding shelter in nearby caves and sneaking into camp repeatedly for food and water. It soon becomes clear that Yere and company are Islamist terrorists, yet that doesn't keep them from one day bringing in a bunch of girls as sex slaves. With them, Sira plans a revolt - but that only leads to one of the girls (Ruth Werner) being tortured almost to death by the Islamists. Problem is, Sira soon finds out she's pregnant, impregnated by Yere himself, and it gets harder and harder for her to move around. On top of that, one of Yere's soldiers (Ildevert Meda) eventually finds her hiding place ...

In the meantime, Jean Sidi sets out to find Sira in the vast desert - but horrendous planning sees to it that he soon gets lost. And then Yere finds out he's after him and orders him to be killed - if found first that is ...


Sira is above all a pretty awesome tale of female empowerment and of overcoming all odds. And it also introduces the audience to a world foreign to most of us, but not by relying too much on ethnographical kitsch but by telling a compelling and despite all cultural differences relatable story, also of course helped by a strong Nafisatou Cisse leading a strong cast. And a directorial effort that gets the most out of its locale without drowning the story in overwhelming pictures also contributes in making this a worthwhile and memorable film.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.


There's No Such Thing as Zombies
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry


directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke


now streaming at


Amazon UK





Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from