Upon the death of her uncle, the family’s patriarch and the local religious leader, Burkinabé filmmaker Chloé Aïcha Boro returns to where her umbilical cord is buried. Boro’s uncle’s demise immediately spurs division, since he was trampled in Mecca during the Hajj. According to the Qur’an, this instantly opens the gates of heaven; according to Malinké beliefs, it indicates rejection by the global spirits. The distribution of his property unearths even more conflict between his heirs, and larger questions about inheritance and the communal customs of West Africa versus individualism and Western law. At the centre of this filial dispute is the ancestral courtyard—a sacred gathering place for some, a financial opportunity for others. Will the family break with secular traditions of settlement and bring the issue before the courts? If the land you’re literally rooted to can be bought and sold rather than passed down, does belonging become an actual belonging? This outstanding family drama trades in controversy and offers impossible choices—fortune or faith, money or memories, profit or perpetuation? Angie Driscoll
Streaming online May 5-9. Streaming is only available in Canada.