Faat Kiné

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Faat Kiné
Movie poster
Directed by Ousmane Sembène
Produced by Wongue Mbengue
Written by Ousmane Sembène
Starring Venus Seye
Mame Ndoumbé
Ndiagne Dia
Mariama Balde
Awa Sene Sarr
Tabata Ndiaye
Music by Yandé Codou Sène
Cinematography Dominique Gentil
Edited by Kahéna Attia
Distributed by New Yorker Films (US)
Release dates
  • 2000 (2000) (Senegal)
Running time
117 minutes
Country Senegal
Language French

Faat Kiné is a 2000 Senegalese film written and directed by Ousmane Sembène, set in present-day Dakar, Senegal. It provides a critical look at modern, post-colonial Senegal and the place of women in that society. It gives a clear glimpse into life of the Senegalaise middle-class and presents present-day Dakar in all of its contradictions of poverty and wealth, tradition and modernity.


After two pregnancies out of wedlock, Faat Kiné has earned a place for herself as a successful gas station owner in patriarchal Senegalaise society, raising her two children alone and providing fully for their needs.

After passing their baccalaureates, Faat Kiné's children, Djip and Aby, try to fix their mother up with Uncle Jean, a Christian businessman, who outwardly objects because Kiné is Muslim, but is actually pursuing her.

Kiné reminisces about her life so far. She was very close to getting her own baccalauréat when she was impregnated by one of her professors. The family patriarch wanted to burn Kiné, but her mother shielded her, surviving with severe burn scars on her back. Kiné started working at a gas station, beginning as an attendant. Only a few years after her first pregnancy, she becomes pregnant again and is abandoned by her fiance who takes her life savings and tries to flee the country. Since the birth of her two children, Faat Kiné has been successful, buying a house for herself, her two children, and her mother. Back in the present, Kiné is very happy when her children present her their baccalauréat diplomas.

At the party to celebrate the graduates, Djip's father shows up, but Djip consistently refers to him as "Monsieur BOP" rather than "father." Aby's father, M. Gaye, also comes to the party, and she asks him to finance her college education. Her father is insulted and tells her to ask Kiné, despite the fact that it is Kiné who has raised Aby her whole life, while Gaye has given her no support. BOP, Gaye, and their friends are hooted out of the party. At the end of the party, Djib and Aby are delighted to discover that Faat Kiné and Uncle Jean have become a couple, and they attribute it to their matchmaking skills, but it is clear that Faat Kiné and Uncle Jean were attracted to each other before.

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