We, Students! (Nous, étudiants!), dir. Rafiki Fariala, Central African Republic / Democratic Republic of the Congo / France 2022, 83 min., Sango / French with English subtitles
Documenting communal life in overcrowded classrooms and dilapidated accommodation at the University of Bangui in the Central African Republic, Rafiki Fariala and his friends Nestor, Aaron, and Benjamin regularly take turns behind the camera – and, indeed, are the students in the title of this dynamic film. Their shared filmmaking duties interrupt their dreams of reorganising their chaotic university and wider society once they’ve graduated. However, with results seemingly predicated on favouritism, bribes and sexual favours, not everyone in the group will make the grade.
While their reflections on political activism and generational conflicts dance together in an attempt to find new coping mechanisms, the group’s desire to face down ingrained corruption and break down outdated societal structures allows for personal stories to emerge. At the same time, We, Students! is a journey into camaraderie, exploring the role of cinema as a medium for resisting and progressing – and leaving open questions of authorship as it balances incisive institutional critiques with celebrations of companionship and solidarity.
This UK premiere is followed by a Q&A with director Rafiki Fariala, hosted by Rémi Bonhomme, Artistic Director of the Marrakech International Film Festival.
Also on Friday: