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MONEY, FREEDOM, A STORY OF THE CFA FRANC

Q&A with filmmaker Katy Lena Ndiaye

[L'ARGENT, LA LIBERTÉ, UNE HISTOIRE DU FRANC CFA]
Can a country be truly independent if its currency is still controlled by its former colonial oppressors? Director Katy Lena Ndiaye traces the history of a currency whose roots lie in compensation for slave owners. Originally used by countries in Central and West Africa, the CFA was pegged to the French franc. While France publicly touted the currency as a benefit to developing nations, it effectively robbed them of the ability to set their own monetary policy. Featuring rich archival footage and a wealth of interviews with economists, former politicians, bankers and even a colonial administrator, who discuss the CFA franc in the context of a colonial system that not only destroyed local governance and economic structures but continues to prevent West African nations from reimagining an economy that benefits Africans first. Now, the CFA is finally set to be phased out and replaced by a new currency called the ECO — but will the change be anything more than cosmetic? (Note adapted from Icarus Films.) DIR/PROD Katy Lena Ndiaye; PROD Oualid Baha, Aurélien Bodinaux. Senegal/France/Belgium/Germany, 2022, color, 102 min. In French with English subtitles. NOT RATED

No AFI Member passes accepted.

102 Minutes
Documentary

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