The Siren of Faso Fani

    • Michel K. Zongo
    • France / Burkina Faso / Germany
    • 2014
    • 89 min


    For many years, Koudougou was the textile capital of Burkina Faso. Faso Fani (“Fabric of the Nation”) was a famous textile plant that brought the city employment, prosperity and vitality. Its employees were always the first in line for luxury goods such as motorbikes and refrigerators, and the company was Burkina Faso’s national pride and joy in the wake of independence. Director Michel K. Zongo grew up in Koudougou, and he remembers hearing the factory whistles heralding the day – all the boys dreamed of working at Faso Fani one day. Everything changed when the country fell into recession – independence hadn’t provided enough of an economic foundation. In exchange for helping Burkina Faso with its debts, the IMF demanded the privatization of all state-owned enterprises, including Faso Fani. Zongo shows us the empty and impoverished city that Koudougou became when the factory had to close. “They broke the future as soon as they closed the factory,” according to former employees, who sadly watch archive footage. The well-oiled machines at Faso Fani may have gone, but Zongo films men and women weaving in the open air on squeaky looms. They carry on the tradition and work to develop their community, hoping for a revival of Koudougou’s heyday.

    Film stills


    • 89 min
    • color
    • DCP
    Screening copy
    Cinedoc films
    Michel K. Zongo
    Michel K. Zongo for Diam Production, Christian Lelong for Cinedoc films, Michael Bogar for Perfect Shot Films
    Perfect Shot Films
    François Sculier
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    IDFA history

    Supported with €17500 for Classic: Production & postproduction

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