Director: Alice Diop

122 mins, France, 2022, Digital, Subtitled

Young novelist and scholar Rama (Kayije Kagame) attends the trial of Laurence Coly (Guslagie Malanga), a young Senegalese immigrant woman and philosophy student, accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter Lili by abandoning her on a beach in the northern French town of Saint Omer. Rama attends the trial seeking inspiration for her new book on maternal love – a modern vision of the Greek tragedy of Medea. As testimony of Coly’s life unfolds, the story gradually shifts towards Rama’s own story and identity, that also of a woman of Senegalese origin in France.

Co-written with Amrita David and acclaimed author Marie N’Diaye, documentary filmmaker Alice Diop’s extraordinary dramade is rigorous, methodical and gripping. Inspired by a real trial that Diop attended, this courtroom narrative touches on the troubles of motherhood, mother-daughter bond, the division between Western and African culture, racism and prejudices towards black women in French society.

Saint Omer is France’s entry at the Oscars 2023, winner of both the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize and the Luigi De Laurentiis Lion of the Future Award for Best Debut Feature at the Venice International Film Festival, and winner of the Prix Jean Vigo 2022.

Notes by Marie-Pierre Richard

Book Tickets

Friday 18th