Et la neige n'était plus (1966) - full transcript

After winning a scholarship to study in France, a young Senegalese man returns home and questions his experience and his future, with honesty, courage and humor.

Arrival of the Air Afrique flight
via Paris and Geneva.

You are back in your country
after years of exile.

The Africa of your adolescence...

attacked by the sun but
embellished by your absence...

regretted and forgotten
in the cold and the snow...

of Western metropolis.

Africa doesn't seem to change.

How do you feel?

Worried. You are worried.

Why are you worried?

You are meeting your country
and your family again...

with everything your idealized
during your deliberate exile.

What have you become?
Have you changed?

Did your family and friends
change or age?

Will you stay with your parents
or at the hotel?

You don't know.

However, you've been waiting for
this moment, your come back.

Your family.

Your big African family.

Can you find a role that will suit you?

Do you realize now
what is useful, what is useless?

What did you bring that
makes you so worry?

Have you came back to your childhood
as a self-made man?

Or are you a tourist looking
for exoticism? Passing and going back.

Afraid of the lack of comfort?

The comfort you get used to in Europe.

Leave your luggage at the hotel,
become an explorer in your own family.

What is your first reaction?

Such behavior...

Aren't you marginal in the very society
you're trying to return to?

Is it something you are capable of?

Before this bowl of rice,
your cousin hand you a spoon.

Does she fear that your hands
can no longer eat like hers?

The spoon you're eating with...

Isn't it the proof of your change?

Do you need new principles?

A new way of life?

Have you become a stranger?

Calm down, playboy.
Calm down, young bull.

Look at your grand-mother,
your cousin, your aunt.

They don't care about spoons.

It is their tradition.

They know development will not
come from the spoons.

They think...

They know what they are.

They know where they are going.

They are calm and relaxed.

Maybe you envy them.

You say "they",
as you are not one of them.

Your cousin is stoic.
He works and struggles.

It's his fight against daily problems
so as to feed and protect the family.

What were you doing in Europe?

Working? Studying?

Was it enough?

And God? Is He sufficient?


Having faith, isn't it essential?

You, yes, you...

Why do you think development
means abandon of tradition?

Can you replace tradition
with something sounder?

Aren't you one of those who forget...

about gentleness and civility...

when they are angry or embarrassed?

You never lacked
self-confidence in Europe.

Now you have to face it, back home.

The Europe you know...

The Europe covered in snow.
Cold in winter, revitalized in summer.

Its tradition is different
and better than the one here.

The one you are
rubbing elbows with now.

Isn't this one an importation?

An imitation for
whites with a black skin?

It has no grandeur, no soul, no future.

Will your call be heard by them?

Aren't they living in a tainted
and artificial world?

Can they think about something that
is not expensive and ephemeral?

They perform a white's life.

Don't they want to defend the peasant?

Do they dream about owning
a pink Cadillac?

Are they really what
they think they are?

Still, they speak about
progress, socialism...

development and education.

This violence...

The verbal violence
in every single talk.

Isn't it the expression
of an inner dismay?

This one! This one, who is she?

Indeed, she is beautiful.

Indeed, she is desirable.

But how can she keep a man with her?
She has no simplicity.

She is sophisticated.

Is she aware of that?

Where can you see Africa in her?

Or Europe?

None of them.


Is she bastardized?

This looks so artificial.


She calls you "My little black man"!

Are you her white with a black skin
because she want to be European?

Is she a black woman?

The African woman poets
have been talking about?



She is nothing.

Wig sellers... are rich!

And so are the buyers!

What is happening?
Is it a mourning day?

Today, they are not wearing
their blonde wigs.

Have you forgotten than blonde wigs...

are reserved for special occasions?


They have the males they need.

The black gods don't shout anymore.

The black gods are sold for
the pleasure of oblivion.

Make up your mind now,
it's the only way.

Isolate yourself into fake luxury.

Or go back to Europe in real luxury.
Make up your mind!

Why come back here and leave comfort?

What do you want?

What can you give them?

Aren't you reactionary?

You can never build something strong
with uncertainty and dismay.

You are looking for purpose and peace.

Your friends may not understand.

What difference makes an open-minded?

Leaving your family...

Not sharing its hard times...

It's contempt.

You renounced to help them.
Most of all...

You fled before their problems.

And now pay for it.

It's funny. Your grand-mother didn't
want you to go to the white school.

She was afraid Europe would swallow you,
like so many before.

Granny was right.

Here is the starting point...

if you want to find equilibrium and
meaning in your life.

It took time to find you.

And I found you in the
most unexpected moment.

You know so many
countries and persons...

Why do you care about me?

Maybe because you are beautiful
and peaceful.

I'll answer your question later.

Why later?

Don't make fun of me. Tell me!

How is it abroad?

There are cities, villages and forests.
Like here.

For some months
it's cold and snowing.


I never saw snow. It's white, right?

- Why isn't there black snow?
- It's not possible.

But if you'd like,
I will make some for you.

Subtitles: tadanobu@KG