Yaaba (1989) - full transcript

A small African village. The story focuses on Bila, a ten year old boy who befriends an old woman, Sana. Everybody calls her 'Witch' but Bila himself calls her 'Yaaba' (grandmother). When Bilas cousin Nopoko gets sick it is Sana's medicine who saves her.

Mother, I miss you...

if only you could come back...

Say what you will...
she won't return.


the old woman is behind us...

Don't be afraid, she's leaving.

Is she really a witch?

I don't know...
but that's what everyone says.

She's following us!

Coward! Let's go...


I'm going to hide...

If you can find me,
I'll give you two coins.


One, two, three...

four, five, six, seven...

eight, nine, ten, eleven...

twelve, thirteen,
fourteen, fifteen...

sixteen, seventeen, eighteen...

nineteen, twenty...

I'm starting now...

I've got you...

I don't want any trouble...
I want my money!

So she helped you...

You tricked me...

There's nothing else we can do.

I'm telling the truth...

It was Bilgo's son
who set fire to the granary...

I saw him...

Noaga, you're drunk again...

You are all hypocrites...

Enough of your insults...

It's your mockery that makes
him drink so much...

You should be a little
more understanding...

The witch...

She is the cause
of our misfortune...

We should
drive her from the village!

Pegda, you're a cruel woman.

We will all help him.


The old woman is innocent.

What did you say?

Nothing at all.

Stop talking foolishness.

Go on and get your mother...


what makes you think Sana
had nothing to do with the fire?

Nopoko and I were at the cemetery...

and she was there too...

I have forbidden you to go
to the cemetery...

stop squawking about it...

Don't start up again.

Koudi, greetings...

Razougou, what do you want?

I have a husband now...
leave me in peace.

I love you,

leave that drunkard and
come away with me...

You haven't changed at all...

I love you, too...

Go on, we'll see each other later.

Now pay attention...

there's a lovely present for
whoever guesses correctly...

Who walks like this?

I know who...

It's Noaga, the alcoholic,
when he's drunk...


you've guessed it.

Nopoko will be your wife.


here is your husband.

I don't want her...
My money...

Who do you think you are?
You little shit!

There's the witch!

Come on!

I've hit her...

Stupid ass!


Stay out of this...

Grab his feet!

You fight dirty...

Get lost, bastard!

That's enough!

Stop it!

You Bila, and you Noraogo,
be careful...

I've got my eye on you.

Now get going, clear off!

Come on,

I'll show Tibo who
he's dealing with!

Tibo, listen...

Let me settle this score
with that bitch!

Forget about it.
That woman looks for trouble.

He's right.
Forget about it.

You hear what she's saying?

Don't listen to her.

You're a coward,
let's see how you do against me!

You helped Bila to beat up
my children, you pig!

Let's get out of here.

Calm down.


I want you...

Wake up...

An impotent fool,

that's all you really are...


I thought you wouldn't come...

I can't stay out long...

Let's go!


It's a surprise.

You should leave that drunk...

I can't...
It's a family matter...

Even if he is a fool,
he is still my husband.

Let's hurry,
we don't have much time...



Son of a bitch...
if I catch you,

I'll strangle you!

A thief... and it is all
your fault. Like mother, like son!


Come back here!

Open the door!

First of all,

take back what you Just said.

Are you going crazy?

You know I'm not!

I'm sorry...


Please forgive me...

My beauty, open the door
and I will give you presents...

You're telling me stories...

No, I'm sincere.

In that case...

Ah, that's life!


Here you are.

Where did you get that?

Did you steal it?


Uncle Tibo gave it to me.

Is that true?


Then I'll accept it.

It tastes very good...

It's too bad
you have no teeth...

Stop making fun of me...

You know...

that's the first time someone
has called me Grandmother...

and that makes me very happy...

He's an awful boy!


Did you see what he did?

Rotten little kid,
I'll teach you a lesson!

You're wrong.

- What has he done to you?
- Everything!

Settle down.

Mind your own business!

Where were you?

I know...
he was with Sana...

Big mouth!

That's enough!

I'll bring him to his father.

You're going to be punished.

And you're going to hell!

I'm bringing Bila to you.
He was with Sana.

With Sana?

Promise you won't hit him.

I promise.

Alright, I'll see you later.

Rascal, I warned you...


You've disobeyed me...




Maybe now you'll learn...

You're overdoing it,
leave him alone...

What did you say?

Go and play...


This is all your fault,
I was in big trouble...

You change your tone or
I'll stop massaging you!

Look at this!

Where did you get it?

I don't know if
I should tell you...

It's a gift from Sana,
but don't tell that...

to anyone.

Aunt has heard everything...

Poko is a very good cook...

That's why I'm still
in love with her...

Let's have another song...

From now on I'm keeping
my eye on you...

You're like father,
you talk too much...

You're brash...

Go and fetch some water...

There's Bila!

You know,

with a nice pair of earrings
you could pass for a little girl...

You're stupid...

You've always been stupid.

I was kidding...

I didn't mean to offend you...

Let me carry the Jug.

You see,

you also know how
to be kind. Let's go.

Wait for me here...

Where are you going?

You can't stay out of trouble...
I'll wait for you at the pond!


I'm frightened...
someone may find us here...

Don't leave,
I want to stay here with you...

That was Just a cow,

you were afraid for nothing.

You too, you were afraid.

I love you.

I love you, too.


But of course...

Thank you.

Stay a while...

I can't,
Nopoko is waiting.

Later, then...

Come no further!

Turn around!

One, two,

three, four...

five, six...

seven, eight...

nine, ten...

Can I come now?








You can come now.

You'll get yours one day.

I didn't know
you loved me that much...

Stop talking nonsense...

Little fool!

I'll never play with you again!

Go on ahead,
I'll catch up with you.

One day walking past here...

father and I saw a big fat rabbit.

But in the time it took to
string an arrow, it had fled...

Stop telling lies...

They're challenging us.

Let's run!

It won't do us any good.

I'm going to fight them...


Why don't you get lost!

Give up or I'll kill you.

sons of bitches!

Are you hurt?

Wipe away your tears...

You're nothing but trouble...

My problems have only begun...

Let me see...

I've been to the market...

and I've drunk a great deal,

I'm high, I'm happy,
I've had a great meal.

You make a horrible wife,

get out... and your kids too...

here's your stuff...
all of you, get out!

You're throwing me out?

Yes, I don't want to see you...

I've warned you before...

I'll go, but one day
you'll beg for me to come back!

Get out of my sight!

Forgive them...

No, I refuse...

That bitch has poisoned the
children with her filthy ways...

I want them to go!

All of this is your fault.

Leave him alone.

Does this concern you?

Are you in pain?


Tell me the truth,
Sana is worried about you.

I'm telling you,
I'm not in pain...

Look at that...

She got exactly what she deserved.

Leave me be,
you deserve the same thing...

You're always cruel with me.

- Come here!
- Leave me alone!

Alcoholic during the day
and impotent at night...

Why are they behaving like that?

I don't know...
but it's really too bad.

It is...

What are you doing there?

We wanted to keep you company.

You could drink a little less...

I know this man...
he's a charlatan...

I found him once
with Noaga's wife.

Wait here!

- What are you going to do?
- Don't worry about it.

Give to a blind man...

Give me my money...

He's not a blind man!

Catch him!

You see,
I was right.

What's wrong?

I don't know...

My head hurts and I feel dizzy...

Let's go back to the village.


she has tetanus,

Sana told me...

Don't you worry... she has malaria
and she'll be alright soon.

...she died a long time ago...

and Nopoko needs a mother,

and Tenga's daughter
would be perfect...

You're right,
but I'll have to think about it.


What do you want?


He can be very strange.

I agree with you.

It's Nopoko...

she is very sick...

but no one believes that
it's because of the knife.

Will you help us?

No, I cannot.

I will help you.

Thank you.
See you soon.

See you soon.

The sick one is in the village.


The work will be done here.

- We've brought a cock!
- Get it!

Here's the cock!

There's nothing wrong
with your child,

someone has stolen her soul.

I see an old, old woman...

it's a witch...

I told you!

You must drive her
from the village...

but sacrifices must
be performed... a bull,

a lamb, fifty coins...


I know who he is,

he Just wants to swindle you...

That's enough, drunkard!

Then it will be your problem...

Thank you for your help...

The old woman will be
chased from the village.

I will wait for you this evening...

at the setting of the sun.

We will be there.

Let's go!

Witch, give us the child!

Let me do it!

Bila, come out of there!

He isn't inside.


- Now she has no home!
- It's Just as well...

You no longer have a home...

but one day, I'll build you one!

Let me have a drink...


Where are you going?

We're going home!

Go away!

There's the child.


come here!

How is she going to be?



I'm afraid that all is lost...

Have courage.

Yaaba, greetings.

Old man, welcome.

He is a cousin of the sick girl.

A pleasure...

Let's go...

Father, this man can help us.


be quiet!

And you, where do you come from?

That doesn't matter,
I come as a friend.


The witch has sent you to
finish what she started...

but I'm not going
to let you do that!

As you wish.

You are fools...

I know that man,

it's Taryam the great healer!
He could have helped you...

Filthy drunk!

You'll regret it...

Let's go find other medicines.

Come here!

I heard everything...
your father and Tibo are wrong.

Find Taryam and bring
his medicine, go!



it's been arranged.

Mother would like
to try the medicine.

Is that true?

Then take this!

Good luck.


I have to go.

Good bye.

Thank you very much.

I'm going as well.

May the gods favor you.

Nopoko, drink this,



If you refuse,
you won't get better.

Drink it!

Father, wait up for me...

Where is your mother?

At a baptism.

We'll go there, too...

Nopoko, they've left, come out.

Wake up!

I'm speaking to you!


I tricked you...


I don't want any,
I already had some this morning.

Tease, that's no reason
to not have a drink,

take it!

Have some yourself.

No. I'm not the one that's sick.

You know...

we all thought that you
were going to die,

but thanks to Taryam and Sana
you're going to be alright.

When you're feeling stronger
we'll go and see Sana. Alright?


Now then, let me massage you...

Liar, he'll have your hide...

That man is a charlatan!

He's the one that burned your hut!

He promised a King he would turn
cow shit into silver...

Tibo is going to get married.

There's his bride.

I know her well,
she's a good woman.

She's not like my wife Pegda.

No, that one's a bitch!

Long live Tibo and his wife!

Look at Koudi...

what she's doing is wrong.

Don't Judge her,
she may have her reasons.

Let's go.

Do you think they've seen us?

I don't think so.

But sooner or later
everyone will know.

Come on!

Ah, that's life!


let's really do it!

Let's get going.

Was that nice?

Don't you know?

Yes, but I want to hear you say it.

Razougou, look!

Go away, drunkard!

We'll settle our business after!

This is all your fault,

I will never be forced
to live with you again.



I will go with Razougou.

Impotent fool!
I don't care if everyone knows it!

Bila, bring the old woman
something to eat.

Where are you going?

He's giving the old woman
something to eat.

I can't be feeding her as well...

This is the last time,

Bila, go on your way.

Old hen!

The gods saved Nopoko,
not that witch.

If something should happen to Bila,
it will be thanks to you...

I will change you yet.

Where is Koudi going?

Probably to Join Razougou.

The tramp!

Don't Judge her.
She has her reasons.


I don't like that at all.

Me neither...

Let's go.

We've brought you something to eat!

She seems to be sleeping...

Wake her up.

Let's go home.

Come on.

You promised me you'd talk
about Yaaba...

Yaaba never knew her parents...

Her mother died giving birth
and her father died of grief.

And that's why
they called her a witch?

That's the only reason.

I know that story.

Yaaba told it to me.

And you said nothing to me.

Some cousin!
I'll never speak to you again!

I'm sorry...

That means nothing!

Here then,

it's a keepsake of Sana

and it's very dear to me.

I will never lose it.

If you can catch me,
I'll give it back.

Count to ten.