The Gravedigger's Wife
Cert: 12A Year: 2021 Length: 82 mins Language: Somali
Cinema Handout (PDF 77KB)
Score: 80.14% Attendance: 79
Winner of many awards around the world's film festivals and the Somali entry for the Oscars, "Finnish-Somali writer/director Khadar Ayderus Ahmed's tender romance 'The Gravedigger's Wife' follows Guled, as he spends his days waiting outside the hospital in Djibouti City with his friends for bodies to bury. He lives in relative poverty with his doting wife Nasra and their son Mahad. When Nasra's failing health due to a kidney infection sends the family into a tailspin, Guled and Mahad each seek money for her much-needed surgery" - Marya E Gates, RogerEbert.com.
Although the story is one of poverty, the director, Khadar Ayderus Ahmed, concentrates on the love between Guled and Nara, and even the reluctant love of their son Mahad - who is ashamed of their poor and illiterate lives - to bring out the craziness of a system that ensures a gravedigger cannot afford the medicines he needs to keep his wife alive. As he rushes back to his rural family and Mahad washes cars in the street in attempts to raise money, the love never dies; "Ahmed wisely allows his actors the room to be playful amongst the film's dramatic plot, bringing a true sense of familial bonds. Charming and wistful without ever feeling maudlin, 'The Gravedigger's Wife' is a beautiful love letter to the power of family" – Marya E Gates again.
A handsome, widescreen fable about family bonds and financial insecurity, this Somali-language film’s simplicity and economy is its power.
Wendy Ide, The Observer
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