Woman in Revolt
A Podcast About Women in Film & TV
April 4, 2023

E17 Saint Omer was snubbed at the Oscars

Alice Diop's quiet courtroom drama was one of our 2022 favorites

"Saint Omer" is based on Alice Diop's experience attending the real life trial of Fabienne Kabou. In the film, Rama (Kayije Kagame), Diop’s stand-in, attends the trial of Laurence Coly (Guslagie Malanda), a woman accused of murdering her 15-month-old daughter, Elise. Long, extended courtroom scenes are interspersed with snippets of Rama’s life (in present day and flashback) and the town of Saint-Omer. There are many parallels between Rama and Laurence, both Black women currently living in the country (France) that once colonized their origin country (Senegal). They both have/had white male partners, difficult relationships with their mothers, and intelligence that many dumb white people find surprising. The film links their stories and shows how Rama understands Laurence, through both her own lens of experience and the story of Medea, which she is working on retelling as part of an academic project.

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