Djourou, a rope round your neck 0+

Olivier Zuchuat, FRA 2004, original version / English subtitles, 65 min

Djourou means a debt in Bambara. A debt that becomes a rope around your neck, creates poverty and deprives of freedom. In the seventies, sub–Saharan countries borrowed millions of dollars in developmental aid, which helped improve their social situation for some time, but also brought harsh consequences. Due to changes in the global economic situation, the interest grew so high that the poor countries would never be able to pay it back. It is a vicious circle proven by the fact that for a dollar they borrowed, they have paid seven back, and still owe four. Director Olivier Zachuat dives deep into the problem, uncovers its causes, returns back to history to the moment the debt had originated and tracks its growing over time, systematically mapping the economic and political backstage and machinations of global market that uncompromisingly moves the remote pieces in the play. He helps the spectator understand the absurd situation, when help becomes a scourge; an invisible monster milking the country. The director interprets the search for causes in the form of an essay. Contemplation mixes with facts, poetic language takes turns with economic vocabulary, and vivid African colours are replaced by plain scenes from governmental offices. All together it creates a picture of the issue asking 'Who helps whom?' and the motto by Henry Michaux: 'Debtless poverty is lonely, a poor man tells the destiny.'


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