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Yaaba

Yaaba (1989)

tomatometer

67

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

95

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 221

My Rating

Movie Info

The title of the Burkina Faso-produced Yaaba translates to "Grandmother." That character, played by Fatimata Sanga, has been accused of witchcraft by her village. In fact, Sanga is a kindly, serene old woman, perhaps the wisest person in the community. Only Bila (Noufou Ouedraogo), a troubled and troublesome young boy, is respectful of her. Though he isn't related to her in any way, he regards her as his grandmother, and addresses her as such. When Bila's cousin, Nopoko (Roukietou Barry), falls

Nov 16, 1999

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All Critics (13) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (2)

Yaaba's power sneaks up on you. At first it seems as spare as the airy African Savannah where it unfolds. It's only with a little distance from its muted beauty that the plan of the film becomes clear.

September 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The locations are attractive, the performances are natural, and the details about local folkways are interesting, but the plot is a bit dull in spots.

September 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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Ouedraogo films all this with great formality and stateliness of pace.

September 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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A direct, affecting story of superstition and love that marks Ouedraogo as a talent to watch.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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The director Idrissa Ouedraogo, of Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) shapes this spare and resonant drama with perfect control.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Yaaba has its virtues, but the talent behind it is unformed.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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A wonderful portrait of Third World life that will leave you with a sense of real peace.

September 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It isn't a fancy or melodramatic film, and it moves rather slowly, especially if you compare it with hyperactive Hollywood pictures. But it glows with gentleness and charm

September 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

The touching fairy-tale pic has a polished lush look, and the naturalistic performances make it look convincingly realistic.

August 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Relying on deft mise-en-scene, Ouedraogo captures the village's unique rhythms with precision and wrests great emotional power from the simple story.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Slow and intriguing.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

A striking, compelling treatise on human values by African filmmaker Idrissa Ouedraogo.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

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  • Yaaba (Grandmother) (UK)
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