Yaaba (1989)

The title of the Burkina Faso-produced Yaaba translates to "Grandmother." That character, played by Fatimata Sanga, has been accused of witchcraft by her village. In fact, Sanga is a kindly, serene old woman, perhaps the wisest… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 16, 1999
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Critic Score: 85% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times

Yaaba's power sneaks up on you. At first it seems as spare as the airy African Savannah where it unfolds. It's only with a little distance from its muted beauty that the plan of the film becomes clear.

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Time Out

A direct, affecting story of superstition and love that marks Ouedraogo as a talent to watch.

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John Minson
Empire Magazine

A wonderful portrait of Third World life that will leave you with a sense of real peace.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

The locations are attractive, the performances are natural, and the details about local folkways are interesting, but the plot is a bit dull in spots.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

The director Idrissa Ouedraogo, of Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) shapes this spare and resonant drama with perfect control.

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David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

It isn't a fancy or melodramatic film, and it moves rather slowly, especially if you compare it with hyperactive Hollywood pictures. But it glows with gentleness and charm

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune

Ouedraogo films all this with great formality and stateliness of pace.

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Hal Hinson
Washington Post

Yaaba has its virtues, but the talent behind it is unformed.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The touching fairy-tale pic has a polished lush look, and the naturalistic performances make it look convincingly realistic.

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