What is life like in a remote village on the banks of the mighty Niger River in Mali? Do you even know where Mali is? (Hint: it’s the home of Timbuktu.) Director Salif Traore shows you in his lyrical film “Faro: Goddess of the Waters.” Salif is here to present his film tomorrow at Doris Duke Theatre, as part of the AFI Project 20/20 program. I asked him if Malinese still believe in things like the river goddess Faro. Oh yes, he firmly replied. And that is what his film is about, the meeting of traditional rural life and the 21st century. “Mali is very poor, and people could be taking advantage of the Niger, improving agriculture,” explained Traore. For his film he hired only five professional actors—who play the main-character prodigal son, the village chief, the village drunk, the young woman Penda, and her mother. The rest are all people from the mud-hut village in which he filmed. Watching “Faro” is a transporting experience—and that is what AFI Project 20/20 is all about.

“Faro: Goddess of the Water”
Nov 15 at 1pm (director will present film)
Nov 16 7:30pm