Tall as the Baobab Tree
Grand comme le baobab
Film Info
Section:New Directors
Premiere Status:USA
Year of Prod:2012
Running Time:82
Original Language:Pulaar
Awards:New Directors Prize Contender
dir:Jeremy Teicher
prod:Maia Bawer
scr:Jeremy Teicher
Alexi Pappas
cam:Chris Collins
editor:Sofi Marshall
mus:Jay Wadley
cast:Dior Kâ
Oumoul Kâ
Alpha Dia
Cheikh Dia
Mboural Dia
Mouhamed Diallo
source:Visit Films
173 Richardson Street
New York
NY 11222
FAX: 718.362.4865
EMAIL: al@visitfilms.com
photo:Chris Collins
While most American kids might consider school a daily chore that they’re forced to endure by their parents, there are many parts of the world where attending school is a distinct privilege, and education may not always be a parent’s first priority. In the rural village of Sinthion Mbadane in Senegal, this encroachment of modern society creates a conflict across genders and generations that is both heart-wrenching and deeply personal. In an organic blend of reality and fiction, director Jeremy Teicher’s first feature film comprises a cast made up entirely of local villagers, playing roles that mirror their own lives. Coumba and her 11-year-old sister Debo (played by actual sisters) are the first in their family to attend school in the nearby city. But when an accident threatens the family’s livelihood, their father decides to sell Debo into an arranged marriage, and Coumba devises a secret plan to save her. Depicting this seeming injustice, Teicher strikes a sensitive balance between the traditions of the elders and the hopes and dreams of their educated children, making this simple story anything but. With its honest performances, gentle pacing and subtle tone, Tall as the Baobab Tree captures the essence of African village life at a time when tradition and progress are actively colliding.
-Joanne Parsont
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Additional Information

Jeremy Teicher

Jeremy Teicher studied film and theater at Dartmouth College and first went to Senegal when he was 19 to work on a promotional video for an NGO to promote digital literacy. Inspired by the people he met, he went on to make a short documentary, This Is (2011), which was nominated for a Student Academy Award. That short inspired his first feature, Tall as the Baobab Tree, which began production when he was just 22. It won the Doha-Giffoni Best Feature Narrative award at the Doha-Tribeca Film Festival, an award selected by a jury of high school students from around the world.