Tall as the Baobab Tree

Jeremy Teicher

In a Senegalese village, modern life cautiously makes an entrance. The sisters Coumba and Debo are the first in their family to go to school. But when their brother has an accident, father wants to marry off the youngest daughter in order to pay the brother's medical expenses. Coumba is fiercely opposed to the plan and does everything she can to prevent the forced marriage of her little sister.

Because we cannot look behind the camera, this seems like a very African film. A realistic story about marrying off, acted by the inhabitants of a village in the countryside of Senegal. Although the film is made by a very young American, it’s certainly not an American film. Jeremy Teicher was only 22 when he started on this film debut. As a student, he had previously made a documentary in the village of Sinthiou Mbadane with the pupils of the very first school there. He incorporated their experiences into this subtle, skilfully photographed portrait of a strong young woman who is caught between tradition and progress. The narrative tempo, accompanied by kora music, is as calm as the rhythm of life in the village, with grazing cows, washing women and transport by horse and cart.


Jeremy Teicher
Mala Bawer
Country of production
Senegal, United States
82 minutes
Spoken language
Local languages
Production company