The Gravedigger's Wife (2021) - full transcript

Guled and Nasra are a loving couple, living in the outskirts of Djibouti city with their teenage son Mahad. However they are facing difficult times: Nasra urgently needs an expensive operation to treat chronic kidney disease. Guled is already working hard as a gravedigger to make ends meet: how will they find the money to save Nasra and can they keep the family together?

I have a story for you.
A very good story.

Have you heard the rat story?

A group of rats held
an emergency meeting about a cat.

The cat had eaten other rats,

so they discussed how to stop it.

The wisest rat made a suggestion:

Let's put a bell on its neck, so when
we hear it coming, we all run away.

They all agreed it was a good idea.

But the stupidest of them
had a question:

Which one of you
is going to take the job?

Don't you get it?
Who will put the bell on the cat's neck?

It's obvious, the cat will eat...


Stop it.

Stop playing.

Why are you so quiet?

I am thinking.

Thinking about what?

Talk to me.

I am thinking about
going to the village.

We used all our money
for your medication.

You know how I feel
about you going to the village.

Nothing good will come out of it.

Alright boss, it was just a thought.

I'll find other ways to get money.


Stop, stop.
No gravediggers are needed.

We have been here all day,

and nobody's dying.

I'm out of here, friends.
See you.

-What is this?
-It's money.

-This is nothing, give me more.
-You didn't carry much for me.

I'm not giving you more, bye.


You idiot!
Look where you're going!

Mahad, your father is here.

Go home and do your homework.

I already did it at school.

Okay then, move.

I'm talking to you, get up.

Do you hear that?

-The devil is paying us a visit tomorrow.
- Which devil?

Is there any other devil in this world
than my mother-in-law?

Sometimes I wish she just
disappeared without a trace.

I believe yours is an angel
compared to mine.

What has she done to you?

Your mother-in-law at least visits you,
mine can't even see me.

She believes we disgraced the family.

I believe she would have shot me
if she could.

Wait, I'll go breastfeed the baby.
I'll be right back.

I'm happy that
you feel strong enough today.

Where are you taking me?

Where are we going?

-You look handsome. Let's go.
-But where are we going?

-Do we know the wedding couple?
-No, we don't.

-Do we have invitation cards?

So we're crashing
a random wedding?

Just like old times.

You can't go in without
an invitation card, please leave.

How are we going to get past
the security guards?

What are you doing?

Why did you borrow the goat
from the woman?

Could you show me your invitations?


You didn't understand me.
I asked you for your invitation.

Are you blind?
It's right here.

This is not an invitation card,
it's a goat.

-Ah, all you see is just a goat?

Listen to me,
you big muscled guys.

We bought a pure-bred goat
for the wedding couple.

It cost us a lot of money.

But it's a shame
all you see is just a goat.

please call the mother of the bride!

-This is outrageous!
-You're right.

Tell me your names,
I will complain about you.

Please calm down, ma'am.
Come on in.

Are they looking?

-What do we do with the goat now?
-Let it go.

Her condition is getting worse.

If the abscess in her kidney can't be
stopped from growing, she will die.

This is... a nightmare.

I will see what I can do for her.

I'll prescribe her
a different type of antibiotics.

It will hopefully stop the infection.

If that doesn't help,

you'll have to take her
to Ethiopia for surgery.

Nasra is a strong woman,
so let's hope that doesn't happen.

Thank you, doctor.

Nothing is working.

Do you remember our plan... run our own business,

put Mahad in one of the
best schools in Djibouti...

...and then travel around in Africa?


We're going to achieve all that,

But I want you to
promise me one thing.

Promise me that

we are going to stay strong.

I know it's not going to be easy,

but we can only get through this
by staying strong.

Are you hungry?

I will cook something good.

Ali, why do you give him
more money than me?

Because he worked harder than you.

-What the hell? I worked hard too!
-Hands off!

Mahad, what's wrong?

What's going on with you?

I had a fight with Ali today.

Come sit here.

You haven't been to Koran school
or regular school for two weeks.


-I'm talking to you!
-Calm down.

Don't shout at him.

None of you know how to read or write,
so leave me alone.

-What's up?
-I'm alright.

You seem worried. What's going on?

I'm stressed.
I couldn't sleep last night.

What's stressing you?

I'm not sure whether
I should buy a cow or a donkey.

That's it?

My friend, listen to me carefully.

I'm forty-five years old.

I hunt dead bodies for a living.

I have a son I can't be an example for.

My wife's health is getting worse.

My family hates me
the most in the world.

With all those problems...

I try to stay sane.

-What are you doing?

I will give you a real reason
to stress about.

Please, stop it.


Hassan is interested in you

but he's too shy
to make a move on you.

Could you sit here
and ask him what he likes about you?

He's joking,
I mean no, it's true...

Sure, give me a second.

Look what you have done.

I did my part, you do yours now.

See you later.

-Hi, Zahra.
-Hi, Guled.

-How is the family?
-All is well. How is yours?

Great, thanks to God.

I have two kinds of news.

Good news and bad news.

The good news is that
we have an anaesthetist visiting

and the operation can be done here.

The bad news is that you will
have to pay for the operation.

If the infected kidney is not removed,
Nasra will not survive.

The operation costs

five thousand US dollars.


What can I get for you?

I'm looking for Ahmed.

-What's your name?

Ahmed is not here.

Ahmed, I can see you're there!

-Please, I need your help.
-Are you deaf?

Ahmed is not here.

I'd have helped you too,
if you asked.

Just go away.

I don't have any money right now.

I'm so sorry. Good night.

-Have you seen Ali?


We're closed.
Come back tomorrow.

Are you deaf?

I'm going to call the police.

Go away!
I don't want to hang out with you.

Let's go!

Hassan, what's up?
You're all smiley.

Things went very well with Sacdiya.


So well that she agreed to marry me.

Congratulations! This is great.

Great news.

Thank you.

See, it wasn't that difficult.

It's all because of you.
You know me, I'm shy.

May God help you
the way you helped me.

Amen, my friend.


This is from me and our friends.

It's not much
but it's all we could afford.

Thank you. This means a lot to me.

No problem.

See you.


Your mother is dying.

I don't have the money to save her.

I'm going to the village
to ask my family for help.

Take care of your mother.

I already asked Zahra
to keep an eye on her.

But you are her son.

It'd mean the world to her
if you were by her side.

See you soon.
I'll be back in a couple of days.

Amhad, are you going to help me?

What about you, Fuad?

Which one of you is going to help?


I'm glad you're here.


I'd appreciate it
if you gave me a shoe.

Any kind of shoe.

I have finished washing.

Thank you.

-Sir, can I wash the car?
-No thanks.

-For only 200 DF.
-I don't want it.

-Only 200 DF.
-Go away.

Look how dirty your car is.
I clean it all.

No, go away.

-Okay, only for 100 DF.
-Go somewhere else.

Who is next?
Are you all afraid?

-You wanna play?

It's 500 DF.

Are you sure?
You can't complain later.

500 DF.

Cite Hodan!
Are you going to Cite Hodan?

-There are seats available!
-Not going there.

Uncle, there are seats available!

-Is it going straight to Cite Hodan?

Cite Hodan! There are seats available!

Cite Hodan, only a few seats left.

Are you going to Cite Hodan?

-Sir, the bus is almost full now.

-You earned almost ten dollars today.
-Yeah, it's really a lot.

Your father will be proud of you
when he comes back.

I hope so.

It is late, let's go now.

Move away from the smoke.

If I move, the pot will burn.

Why are you going to the village?

Stop asking questions.

It's okay.

I'm going to get my share of
the herd to sell in Djibouti city.

Your entire herd?

What for?

That was delicious, honey.
Thank you.

Tell me, have you found
any cute girl you like?

Mom, are you crazy?

-I'm your mother, you can tell me.
-I'm too young.

Your father and I were only
a few years older than you

when we first met.

How come you never told me
how you two met?

Because you're never around

to sit and talk to me.

Your father's family and mine were
from different villages.

But one summer, both families
were camping in the same area.

I disliked your father
very much at first.


Because when the kids gathered around the
campfire at evenings to chat and dance

your father always stood in a corner,
never talked and just stared at me.

But one afternoon,
I was at the lake by myself,

crying my heart out,
when your father came to me.

Why was she crying?

She found out that her father was giving
her away in marriage

to an older man she never met.

Then what happened?

He sat next to me
and said "I love you".

So, the first words you ever said
to her were "I love you"?

Why are you looking at me like that?

I've told you hundreds of times
that I love you.

I told him about my father's intentions.

Your father went quiet for a second

and then made a suggestion.

He suggested that we run away
to the city together.

So we left everything behind,
got married and never went back.

Is that why your families hate you?

-Mom, can I ask you a question?
-Yes, honey.

How could you trust my father?

Weren't you afraid that
he could kill you?

No, I just trusted him.

Hello, mother.

Bring me a glass of water, will you?

-Is your son with you?
-No, mother.

What brought you here?

-I came to get my share of the herd.
-You left your herd.

I left them to my brother.

You just abandoned them.
They're his now.

How can my brother own my herd?

You left them a long time ago.

There's nothing for you here.

Go back to where you came from.

Mahad! Where are you?


Stop it!

I'm here to claim my herd.

-You abandoned your herd.
-I did not.

-Neglected and abandoned them.
-I left them to you.

-You deserted them.
-I left them for you to take care of.


I, as the head of this village,

have the power to make
the last decision.

The village has strict rules.

Anyone who tries to go against them
will be punished accordingly.

Watch out!

That's the final decision.

The trial is over,
and the decision has been made.

My wife is dying.

Where is your father?

He went to the village.

Can you call him and tell him
to come immediately?

My father doesn't have a phone,
and there are no phones in the village.

How is my mother?

Dr. Yasmin, do you have a minute?

You know that's against
the hospital policy.

Her husband's coming back soon
with the money.

Then we wait.

This woman can't wait,
she could die any minute.

I'm not doing this for free
but you can do it at your own risk.

Suit yourself.

I have some money. Do you think
it could help for the operation?

That's sweet.

What the...

He went in that direction!

There he is!

The operation was successful.
Nasra is safe.

When your father returns,
tell him to come to my office.

-Hey, what are you doing there?
-To see if my father is coming.

-C'mon, everyone is waiting for you.
-Go ahead, I'll join you soon.