Demba is about to retire after 30 years of service in the city hall of his small hometown in northern Senegal. During this hot summer, as the second anniversary of his wife’s death approaches, Demba realises that he is unable to simply “shake off” her passing. But as his mental health deteriorates, he discovers a new connection with his once estranged son. Can Demba recover from his loss without losing himself?
The film takes the life of a middle-aged man to explore the tension between grief and healing, belonging and estrangement, mental health and psychiatric disorder. Its inspiration stems from a genuine question: How can a society that does not have a word for “depression” come to terms with it?
by Mamadou Dia
with Ben Mahmoud Mbow, Awa Djiga Kane, Mamadou Sylla, Aicha Talla, Abdoulaye Dicko
Senegal / Germany / Qatar 2024 Fula, Subtitles: English 119' Colour, 4K DCP World premiere


  • Ben Mahmoud Mbow (Demba)
  • Awa Djiga Kane (Awa)
  • Mamadou Sylla (Bajjo)
  • Aicha Talla (Oumy)
  • Abdoulaye Dicko (Mayor)
  • Saikou Lo (Salam)
  • Mamadou Bayo Sarr (Pekane)
  • Hamadi Baila (Rama)


DirectorMamadou Dia
ScreenplayMamadou Dia
CinematographySheldon Chau
EditingAlan Wu
MusicJohn Corlis
Sound DesignEli Coen
SoundOusmane Coly
Production DesignCaterina Da Via
CostumesSalimata Ndiaye
Make-UpAnna Senghor
ProducerMaba Ba
Executive ProducerOumy Djegane Niang
Co-ProducerNicole Gerhards

Produced by


Dakar, Senegal

NiKo Film

Berlin, Germany

World Sales

The Party Film Sales

Paris, France

Additional information

With the support of: FOPICA-Senegal, Berlinale World Cinema Fund, Canal+ International, Doha Film Institute, Visions Sud Est

Mamadou Dia

The Senegalese director obtained his master’s degree in screenwriting and directing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His feature film Nafi’s Father premiered at Locarno where it won the Best First Feature Award and the Golden Leopard in its section. The film was also Senegal’s official entry for the 2021 Oscars.

Filmography (selection)

2015 Contained; short film 2016 Samedi Cinema; short film 2019 Baamum Nafi (Nafi’s Father) 2024 Demba

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024


Sat Feb 17 16:30

Akademie der Künste

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Sun Feb 18 16:00

Zoo Palast 2

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Mon Feb 19 12:30

Colosseum 1

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Tue Feb 20 22:00

Cubix 7

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Sun Feb 25 12:45

Cubix 8

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