As part of our Guest curator series we welcome Emily Martin as she presents
Ça Twiste à Poponguine (Twist in Poponguine) 1993
Director Moussa Sene Absa’s comedy is set during the weeks before Christmas, 1964, in a Senegalese seaside village, where the local teenagers are divided into rival cultural camps. The “Ins” (or Inseparables) have adopted the names of French pop stars – Johnny Halliday, Sylvie Vartan, “Clo Clo” and Eddie Mitchell. Their clique attends school, has a female auxiliary, exchanges fervent love poetry – but they don’t own a record player. The Kings, on the other hand, style themselves after African American Rhythm and Blues legends – Otis Redding, Ray Charles and James Brown. They work as fishermen and don’t have any girls, but they do have a record player.
Beneath its genial surface, Ça Twiste à Poponguine is about the importance and ultimate fragility of dreams and about each person’s right to construct whatever dream they need. The film reveals how young Africans’ have always created overlapping, identities, blending elements of American and French pop culture into their daily lives. Chubby Checkers’ Let’s Twist Again, sung in French, wafting over a Senegalese village just emerging from feudalism, offers a quintessentially post-modern moment.
Media: Digital Projection
Emily Martin is currently a M.A. Arts Administration & Policy and Contemporary & Modern Art History dual degree candidate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work includes film programming and experimental filmmaking with a specific focus in structuralism, intersectionality, and identity politics.
For the months of April and May the Guest curator series invites independent film programmers to Comfort Film to share their vision of what film means to them.
No BYOB please.
The Comfort Station Curator Series is programmed by Raul Benitez and Nando Espinosa Herrera.