The Ambassador’s Wife

  • Theresa Traore Dahlberg
  • Sweden, Burkina Faso
  • 2018
  • 16 min
  • European Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Short Documentary
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The wife of the French ambassador in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso is bored. Once in a while she’ll play a game of tennis, or maybe swim a few lengths in her private pool. She used to dream of being a famous opera singer, but now she practices her repertoire knowing she’ll never perform for a large audience. A career isn't even an option, because the wives of ambassadors aren’t allowed to work.

In powerful, measured and beautifully styled scenes, director Theresa Traore Dahlberg—who spent part of her childhood in Burkina Faso—exposes the pitfalls of a privileged life. This discreet, short portrait of an ambassador’s wife also offers a witty and critical perspective on neocolonial relations, power structures, class differences and gender disparities. While the ambassador’s wife tries to relax in her luxurious surroundings, she’s surrounded by staff and servants who are busy working and making noise.


  • 16 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: French
Theresa Traore Dahlberg
Theresa Traore Dahlberg for Theresa Traore Dahlberg Productions
Iga Mikler
Theresa Traore Dahlberg
Aristide Kinda, Theresa Traore Dahlberg
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IDFA history