Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes (2012) Script

Kirikou and the Men and Women

Kirikou, my darling grandson lived a very short childhood in his little village.

But he lived it to the full.

You can't imagine how much he accomplished in such a short time with bravery, cleverness, and generosity.

I have already told you some of his amazing feats in the midst of wild animals.

But now let me tell you of times when he took care of men and women and children too.

I well remember the neighbor we called "Big Woman".

She was a bossy lady, a little rude at times, but who meant no harm.

Back then, she was accused of disobeying Karaba the Witch who as a result had punished her.

But is it all that bad to disobey a wicked witch?

In any case, Big Woman wasn't taking it lying down.

Karaba the Witch burnt my hut.

But we'll make it even better.

The struts are nearly done. time to bring the straw.

The fetishes!

The fetishes!

You must not repair this roof yet.

This woman disobeyed Karaba, her punishment must endure.

But I need a home.

The rains are coming. Have mercy!

Great Karaba has no time for mercy.

What will become of me?!

Well, I told you so.

Mother, she must be lonely out there.

Yes, Kirikou. She went straight to her cave in a foul mood.

But there are other solutions.

Like staying with someone.

Right, I've prepared a big pot of food.

We could invite her.

Shall I? Yes, Kirikou.

Neighbor, you and your son are good people.

I'll not forget it.

We've got room. It's no bother.

Right, back up.

Set it down in the middle.

Better make some space.

Push that over here.

I'll bring the rest!

Kirikou, out of the way.

That sure makes one hungry.

Sit down. I've made some fonio with vegetables.

Kirikou, did you wash your hands?

Of course!

No need to ask. He always does.

You never know with kids.

You always know with me.

Quiet when adults are speaking.

Dinner's ready!

Sure there's enough for three?

Well, we can make up for it tomorrow.

Got any tamarind?

Sorry, no.

I always put some in my fonio.

Adds a bit of flavor when it's too bland.

I prepared your sleeping mat, there.

But I can't sleep with my head to the south!

This side's better.

Then you can sleep on my mat.

What's that? Shoo, filthy creature!

It's Kirikou's margouillat.

For a night fee of cockroaches and mosquitoes.

You're fooling yourself, my dear.

I happen to hear a mosquito.

Goodnight, dear neighbor.

Goodnight, dear neighbor.

You sleep well, my friends.

I have too many worries. I won't sleep a wink.

That snoring keeps waking me.

I'll go sleep beneath the baobab.

There's someone under the baobab!

You too?!

Yes, I couldn't get to sleep.


I brought my mat.

Good morning, Kirikou.

Good morning, Mother.

In fact, it's nice to sleep outdoors.


We'll do it again tonight if it doesn't rain.

It's getting hotter.

The tornado is approaching.

Mother, can I go now?

First, finish grating your manioc.

I scraped my fingers.

Because you're doing a bad job!

I've finished!

The rain!

The rain has come!

The rain!

Water! Water's falling.

Dancing water, fun and laughter!

Oh, to be a child again and dance naked beneath the rain.


Water! Water's falling.

Dancing water, fun and laughter!

Water! Water's falling.

It was time they went in.

Why don't you call him in?

He's happy in the wind and rain, living to the full.

You don't raise him right.

Good. I couldn't manage to stop.

Just look at the state of him!

What fun!

But the wind was too strong for me.

It's raining on my things!

After, you fix my roof.

No, me first. You're young and tall.

You can manage by yourself.

A job well done!

Wonderful! Thank you.

Not like at Karaba's.

The tornado damaged her roof too.

And the fetishes are incapable of thatching it correctly.

Serves her right.

May that hole remain and the heavens open.

Why don't we offer to fix Karaba's roof?

And in exchange, we ask her to let us fix your roof.

Nice idea, but Karaba doesn't exchange. She takes.

We'd need quite a lure to get the witch to bargain.

We have it.

I doubt it.

It's you, Uncle.

You really talk nonsense!

Maybe not...

We know the witch wants to capture you.

She'll see it as a way of drawing you in so the fetishes can nab you once and for all!

What a stupid idea!

Of course, you won't go.

The rainy season is coming.

We must do our utmost so that Big Woman gets her hut and her roof back.

Even if it means heeding Kirikou's idea.

Let's call a village meeting.

Venerable mistress?

The wretched village women are approaching bearing fruit.

Tremble with fear!

Tremble with cheer!

She is nearing.

She's not far.

Tremble with fear, tremble with cheer because here comes...


What do you want, women?

First, oh Karaba, accept this fruit.

Then, we offer to repair your roof better than your fetishes can.

In exchange...

Woman, this is not a market place.

I mean, to show your generosity you might allow me to fix my roof.

Your roof would be well repaired!

Kirikou's uncle taught us how and he'll oversee the work in exemplary fashion.


Then may my great generosity speak.

I accept You'll let me repair my roof if the villagers repair yours?

Yes, I'll let you fix your roof if the villagers repair mine.

Kirikou, you can't come.

You too would be a prize for Karaba.

No children must come. You are our treasure.

We can't have you run the risk.

Anyhow, we need you here to play act.

Yes, you can count on us.

And most extraordinary of all at last, through the hole in the roof, we'll see inside Karaba's hut.

Oh no! She's hung up mats.

What did you say?

Nothing, just checking.

Where's the uncle?

He's preparing struts.


It just needs to be thatched.

It's true.

Your struts didn't burn.

They're perfect.

However, the batten cords are totally rotten!

I'll run and tell the young man to bring cord immediately.

Wait! He's used it all on my roof.

Tell him to undo what he's done.

First we finish Karaba's roof.

You up there, do you see this uncle?

Yes, Mistress. He's coming to meet Thin Woman.

They're talking.

The young man is climbing up the roof.

He's going very high.

He's pulling on a cord.

Oh no!

He's fallen! He cried out.

My poor uncle!

Little Kirikou is rushing over.

He's wailing.

The young man is hurt.

Thin Woman too, she's wailing!

Our poor warrior!

Now the old man has arrived.

He's wailing!

The poor man's broken his leg!

The poor man's broken his leg!

He's broken his leg!

Oh, the pain!

The poor man's broken his leg!

The poor man's broken his leg.

Here's the cord.

The poor man's broken his leg!

We know, the fool!

But we have the cord. It'll be done in a jiffy.

Isn't that pretty?

And it's made to last.

Can I have more straw?

No, that's not how you do it!

Sure I can't help?

Thank you, Kirikou.

But for now, go and play.

It's no fun.

What a joy to work together!

Except some don't lift a finger.

I'd love to help but I have to play the cripple, for Karaba.


I've never seen such a beautiful roof.

How cozy I'll be in my hut!

How cozy we'll be in ours.

Thank you, friends.

You've worked well, and play acted well too.

Thank you, neighbor, for lodging me.

And thank you, Kirikou.

Sometimes, you have good ideas.

And now, let the rains come!

Kirikou has the knack, he got my roof back!

Kirikou has the knack, he got my roof back!

Welcome to the rain, I've got shelter once again!

Welcome to the rain, I've got shelter once again!

I've got shelter once again!

I so love when all the village works together and gets along.

But of course, there are always moments of annoyance.

Kirikou didn't like it when the old man beneath the baobab answered his serious questions lightly.

Or when, with a dash of humor he declared that he knew everything.

It's true that such a claim is somewhat... far-fetched.

And Kirikou wasn't the only one annoyed by this old man's moods.

But one day, the old fellow simply vanished.

Our elder is taking a long walk today.

What a relief, not a moan all morning.

Kirikou, out of the way!

It's not like our elder to miss a meal.

Peace while it lasts.

Maybe he too needs peace.

Kirikou, don't butt in when adults are talking!

Our elder's absence is becoming worrying.

Hunger will soon drive him home, crustier than ever.

Yet he has great knowledge of wild fruits.

He's probably having a feast.

And you, rascal aren't you enjoying not being needled?

I'm not sure. You're still here.

Elder! Uncle! Elder!

Where are you? Aboulou, Aboulou!


My old companion, answer!

We have waited too long.

True, we were uncaring.

Now night has fallen. It's too late.

Nothing we can do? No.

But tomorrow at dawn, we'll all head out to look for him.

Sleep, Kirikou.

He's not always very nice, but what matter.

No, he's harmless, and he knows so much.

Now that he's no longer here, we all feel we need him.

You're right, Kirikou.

Now sleep, to be strong tomorrow and to find him.

I can't sleep.

Might as well take care of our elder.

Take care?

He may be asleep under some bush in the scrub, the savannah, the forest, the mountains, or the marsh.

Impossible to know where.

And it's nighttime.

What's the point?

You'd have to be able to see in the dark.

To see far like near.

To be as tall as a baobab.

No such being exists.

But yes! It does.

The fetish on the roof!

That's the only creature capable of finding the poor old man.

Yes, but I can't just turn up at Madame Karaba's wake her from her sleep, and ask her to ask her fetish to help me find my missing elder.

But maybe...

First, I must get to the witch's without being seen.

The fetish on the roof must drop his guard at night.


I hope Karaba is not a light sleeper.

Good. All the fetishes are asleep.

And the fetish on the roof is dozing, unsuspecting.

Now for the hard part.

It's a crazy plan.

But as he'll be taken by surprise It might just work.

You're sleeping again?!

No, great Mistress!

The village elder is not yet home. Where is he?

What's going on?

He's in the weeping-figs, perched on a tree.

What are you saying?

Who's in the weeping-figs perched on a tree?

But… the village elder!

You wake me in the dead of night to tell me that old coot is up a tree?

But... Mistress, you just asked me!

I just asked you? You're going crazy.

We'll discuss this tomorrow.

In the meantime, you'd better let me sleep.

Either I' m crazy, or she is.

The weeping-figs are miles away.

Why did the elder walk so far?

Usually, after a few yards, he's exhausted.

And why up a tree in the dead of night?

But... what are you doing here?

I've come to save you.

Bravo, handsome savior!

Now we're both trapped.

And soon, I shall fall and the jackal will eat me.

Why will you fall?

Because I'm exhausted and the beast knows it.

He's been following me all day waiting for me to trip so he can jump me.

In the end, I took refuge in this tree.

But I haven't drunk or eaten since this morning.

And soon I shall let go.

But I brought you food and drink.

Bravo once more!

Food and drink on another tree will do me a lot of good!

What are you doing?

Don't be silly.

The trees are too far apart.

The branches are too thin.

You're too loaded.

Stop, you'll fall.

You'll make a tasty morsel for the jackal before the main course.

There you are!

Well done, my boy.

I didn't think you'd make it and that I'd be able to drink!

Keep a bit for later.

We still have to get home.

That changes everything.

All gone!

Well, this gourd is no use now.

Here, jackal... a present!

He's too much. That gourd was new.

You spoke of food?

Yes, my mother's delicious flatbreads.

No question of falling now.

The others are bound to find us.

But how did you find me in the dead of night?

It's witchcraft.

Kind of...

You won't believe me but I turned into Karaba!

How awful!

What do you mean? Such is life.

You too eat animals.

How wonderful! On the contrary.

With one stroke, we're rid of two dangers.

The jackal is dead, and the panther is fed.

We're free!

Let's go!

So, Mr. Run-Around, not up to it?

Here, it's impossible to run.

And like you, I tire quickly.

I'm fine.

Yes, because you drank all the water.

And I'm dying of thirst.

No problem.

I'll give you a drink in return.

There's no water hole along the way.

Here, suck on that.


How wonderful! Thank you.

A water tree. A pity there's no flatbread tree.

I'm starving.

No problem.

Taste that.

It's even better.

Don't touch those!

They'll make you tipsy like palm wine.

What are you doing?

You said not to eat them!

I can. I'm an adult.

And I can hold my palm wine.

Can't I taste, just a little one?


These are even better.

You should stop.

You're completely drunk!

You're really annoying, little one.

But... I like you just the same.

You're a knave, but... so brave.

He's so brave!

Instead of snoring like the others you came to save me.

Yes, I really like you.

Well, I like you too.

And the others, that useless bunch asleep in the village, I like them too.

Karaba is the only one I don't like.

Not in the least!

And if she thinks she scares me she's wrong, that Karaba!

Not so loud! Leave the witch be.

Let me speak!

That pathetic Karaba doesn't scare me at all!

And another thing...

What's all that racket, so early?

The villagers are preparing an expedition.

And near the Termite Hills the old man is flailing and shouting.

Him again! What's he shouting?

"If Karaba thinks she scares me, she's crazy."

Did you hear right?

He's screaming:

"Karaba is a fool!"


Having always spared that old crackpot that's all the thanks I get?

Let the fetcher fetishes go capture the old fool, the killer fetishes too.

I'll not let this individual escape my wrath!

An army of fetishes is coming to capture you!

I'm done for!

No! Undress.

Are you crazy?

Quick, off with your boubou! It's your only chance.

The fetish is talking to Karaba, he's not looking.


And your hat!

No, not another!

Quick, or Karaba will nab you. They're coming.

The fetishes have spotted him.

He's fleeing?

No, he's petrified with fear.

The fetishes have grabbed him!

He's resisting.

Pretty well for his age.

Spare me your impressions.

At last, the old guy has yielded.

But the fetcher fetishes can't get a handle on him.

Bungling idiots!

Now they have him in hand, but seem to find him heavy.

Lazy good-for-nothings!

Yet he's one man Kirikou couldn't save!

so what do I do now?

I can't return to the village naked, I'm too old for that.

I'll make you a classy leaf boubou.

And my hat?!

That's the second hat she's taken.

I'll make you another, even finer.

You go that way, you this way.

I'll search the forest. I know it well.

I'll search the marsh.


Our elder!

How terrible!

We loved him so.

A spirit of the forest!

Or a sorcerer!


Misfortune never comes alone!

What's up with them?

He's stolen our elder's voice!

How stupid can you get!

And his character.

Hey! It's me!

It's our elder.

You're dead, and you've come back?

That's worse!

I'm scared!

How stupid you all are!

What you saw going by were my clothes, not me!

Why the sorcerer's dress?

With horns that move?

Kirikou, that's enough. Get down.

The kid is tiny, but he weighs a ton!

What joy!

You're both safe and sound.

Mother, I picked you some delicious fruit.

As for the bad ones...

I left them.

I'll tell you all about our incredible night.

Kirikou, last night, saved my life!

Kirikou, last night, saved my life!

The tot and the elder are friends forever!

The tot and the elder are friends forever! are friends forever!

Instead of annoying one another, the old man and the child became friends, thanks to a very unusual night spent together.

My next story unfolds in broad daylight, yet it struck fear into the whole village.

The arrival of a strange-colored monster.

The children were playing in the fountain, laughing and splashing...

And it was Tall Boy who saw it first...

What's up?

A blue thing moved in the distance.

A blue thing?

It was too swift to identify.

What kind of blue?

Like the skirt of Karaba the Witch.

Run to the village!

No, let's go see.

Are you crazy? No one goes near Karaba!

Who says it's Karaba?

The color blue.

Your mother wears blue too.

Not at all the same blue.

Karaba never leaves her hut.

The fetishes do all the work.

So, if she has, it's serious.

Run! Sound the alarm.

First, let's all look out there to see if we should panic everyone.

You're so annoying.

You're too little to tell us what to do.

Venerable Mistress?

A blue thing moved in the distance.

A blue thing?

It was too swift to identify.

What kind of blue?

Rather like your skirt.

Try to spot it again.

And try not to bother me for no reason.

Yes, great Mistress.

We all saw that.

It's Karaba! Run!

No, it's not Karaba.

What then?

I don't know. Then shut up!

You'd have to be blind to take that for the witch.

We're too far.

Let's move closer. No way!

Just a bit, to see what it is.


Don't do that!

He's so silly.

He's messing around.

The kids are approaching the blue thing!

Something is afoot.


It's all blue.

Yes, it can't be human.

It's an animal we've never seen before.

Maybe a dangerous monster.

It's heading for Red Rock Circle. We'll corner it.

The kids are spreading out.

They want to capture the blue thing.

They're approaching it.


Let them do the dangerous work.

We'll decide when things become clearer.

What on earth is it?

It's neither human, nor animal.

But how can it move?

I'm scared.

Careful, Kirikou.

Be ready to strike.

Madi tigame tikma.

It talks!

But nonsense.

It's got eyes!

It's not a thing. It's a boy.

Yes, it's got eyes and hands.

How awful! See the color of his skin?

It has no color.

He must be very ill.

Very, very ill.

I wonder why he's all wrapped up.

When you're ill, you cover yourself up.

Like I said, he's very, very, very ill.

He's dying.

Stay away, Kirikou!

If you touch him, you're dead.

Yalawat chachwathi.

Look, he has a mouth.

He will die if we don't help him.

What's got into him?

The kids have surrounded the blue thing that has eyes.

But Kirikou has run off.

Where to?


He's coming back already. He's fast.

Spare me your impressions. Just tell me what's happening.

Did he take something from his hut?

Yes, a gourd and some bananas.

He's heading back to the blue thing.

Careful not to touch him.

Oh no!

The colorless boy touched Kirikou's hands.

He's contaminated!

We mustn't touch him either.


You're welcome.

You understood what he said?

No need to be a magician to guess:

"Thank you".

What happened to you?

Don't waste your breath. He can't understand.

Where do you come from?


So, you come from the north.

But how did you end up here?

How badly he draws!

It makes no sense!

Back, little one. Touch him and you're dead.

The blue thing with hands is drawing magic symbols on the ground.

A magician?

I'll not have that here!

He's so bad at drawing.

And the same drawing every time.

Wow, they're loaded!


You were travelling with others, on that horse.

What a storm!

The blue wizard is chanting magic words, waving his hands about.

What words?


You poor thing! You're totally lost.

But we'll find your friends.

My name is Kirikou.

And you?





We'll mount an expedition to find the others.

Tonight, Anigourran sleeps with us.

You're not bringing him back to the village!

Sure I am.

I already told my mother we have a guest.

Well I'll go tell mine!

No, Kirikou.

You can't come in here with that infected stranger.


You're putting the whole village in danger.

Children, move away.

I hope no one but Kirikou touched this diseased boy.

I was really careful.

Kirikou, your carelessness will bring disaster upon us.

It's obvious this stranger is not in a normal state, that he's hiding his body.

Now, be gone, both of you.

What's going on?

This boy is quite normal.

Just a Tuareg child who's lost his caravan.

Yo touareg imajigh amossa!

Ala Fet nassa nak, barar imajighan.

You call this fellow normal?

Of course.

As a girl, in our village, a caravan of Tuaregs used to visit regularly to sell us salt.

The blue thing is a Tuareg child who has lost his caravan.

You've wasted my time yet again.


Koudara tichitaghi.

Mother, will you teach me Tamasheq?

Sure, the few words I know.

But you'd have to live with Anigourran's tribe to really learn.

That'd be great!

Kirikou, don't talk with your mouth full.

It's so good. Thank you.

Mother, why does our friend imprison his body and wrap it up from head to toe?

It's ridiculous.

In the Sahara, it's very hot, with neither trees nor huts.

So to shelter from the sun people wear long garments.

I understand.

But why does he keep his garments on here?

This is not the Sahara. Here, it's so nice.

He must be very hot.

Yes, but he'd be embarrassed to remove his garments now.

If he stayed longer, he'd adopt our ways, which are good.

But he won't have time.

As tomorrow, we go in search of his caravan.


I saw a panther!

Let no one leave the village!

Oh no!

I sent my eldest girl out to pick herbs!

Tall Girl!

Return to the village!

A panther is on the prowl.

He's very dangerous!

Tall Girl! Hurry back!

He's wounded.

Not too badly, for someone who just fought a panther.

My mother will treat him.

No, this time, it's my mother!

My Tall Girl!

My little girl...

Mother, you must treat the Tuareg boy.


Careful, this will sting.

To disinfect your wound.

He's brave.

Yes, he's brave.

Now, these leaves will heal it.

I'll bind them with this cloth.


Tanimert nam woulane.

We're already quite loaded.

I want Anigourran to eat well on the journey.

His skin is funny.

But he has beautiful eyes...

You mind your own business!

What did I say?

Taghlamt nana!

The animals he drew!


Your friend's parents.



Emoss t'inaya maratwa diyigrawan.

Worissena mahé saf'ra!

Tamtit ta d'arwa ogazani.

Barar wamithikande issinet Kirikou.

Yimignet hani oumgrira. Yogazi dagh erk arawa asdiyigraw ideza yicchichi.

Tamtit ta tillilat, felas togaj, ghawnan windighi nigernine. tessoudri imik wastasodar arawnet, issan awanamos tarana.

Little Kirikou has a friend so true!

Little Kirikou has a friend so true!

Our friend the stranger saved me from mortal danger!

Our friend the stranger saved me from mortal danger!

Saved me from mortal danger!

Our dear village had almost behaved foolishly.

Fortunately, Kirikou was there, with his good nature and his mother too, who came from elsewhere and who knew that different tribes existed.

Yet another stranger left her mark on the village, but especially on Kirikou.

As you've noticed, I like to tell stories, but I'm not the only one.

So, one morning a strange woman appeared at the village.

Good day, women of the village.

Good day, stranger.

Good day. What brings you here?

I am a griot.

I relate that which happened long ago that must not be forgotten.

I retell stories entrusted to me and I invent tales.

Here, we work!

We don't need tales. They're for children.

Perfect, we are children!

My tales are for the young and the old.

Well, then tell.

That is not how it is done.

A tale is well told only at night and everyone should be there and there only for that.

You are most demanding.

So what will you do till nightfall?

I will observe and listen to you, as you are interesting.

I will learn and imagine.

I will also eat if you will kindly feed me.

The truth is out!

Do you know the story of Soundiata Keita?

Of course.

There are details I can't recall, that I'd like to remember.

I'd most gladly recount that saga this evening.

Out of the way.

Can't you see I'm sweeping?

I'm sorry.

Come to us. You must be hungry and thirsty.

Griot, another one, please!

You are insatiable.

Kirikou, let our guest eat.

I've finished. It was delicious.

There's no end of little tales about the clever hare.

But do you remember the words to begin?


I recount.

We are listening.

Once upon a time...

Thus it was in time.

Once upon a time, there lived a king.

A handsome king.

His name was Naré Magann Konaté.

That's right.

One day, a soothsayer came to the village.

He cast his cowries upon the ground examined them and proclaimed:

"Handsome king.

One day you shall meet an ugly hunch-backed woman.

Marry her.

She will bear you a son who shall become the greatest of kings."

The king was much troubled by this prophecy as he already had a very beautiful wife and a son as handsome as his parents.

Why such calm and that glow in the village?

The villagers are sitting around a fire, all quite still, listening to a woman, a stranger.

What is she saying?

She has her back to me. I can't hear.

But those who can seem happy and enchanted.

It is not acceptable that these villagers have pleasure and not me!

Nine months later, the ugly wife, the buffalo-woman, gave birth to a boy.

They called him...

Soundiata Keita!

Yes, Soundiata Keita!

You know everything, venerable old man.

It all comes back to me, as you speak.

Continue, good griot.

Little Soundiata Keita was strangely sickly...

The fetishes!

The fetishes!


The Great Karaba wishes to hear what the speaking woman is saying.

She must follow us to our powerful mistress' hut.


I must continue the tale here begun.

You did not understand.

The Great Karaba wishes to hear what the speaking woman is saying.

She must follow us to our powerful mistress' hut.

I understood perfectly, and I stay here for now.

It is we who do not understand.

Sit down.

One does not abandon a story thus.

Yes, good griot. Resume your tale.

Little Soundiata Keita was strangely sickly...

At the age of two, the prince's legs could not hold him.

He crawled on the ground like an animal.

At the age of four, he crawled on the ground like an animal.

At the age of eight, he crawled on the ground like an animal.

At the age of twelve...

He crawled on the ground like an animal.

At the age of sixteen...

He crawled on the ground like an animal.

People made fun of him.

His father was ashamed of him.

It was then that the first wife insulted the mother of the young cripple.

Out of fury, the young man stood up on his knees but was unable to raise himself further.

So the griot of the family went to fetch the rod of command.

He had long awaited...

Mother, I'm worried.

I'm going to take a peek at Karaba's.

Listen well to the story. You'll tell me later.

Yes, Kirikou. Be careful.

Soundiata Keita leaned on the rod and raised himself, towering, upright, he walked with a steady step to the baobab.

He took hold of it, wrenched it from the ground.

The children playing in its branches fell not knowing what was happening.

Soundiata Keita carried the baobab all the way to the village and planted it... before his mother's doorstep and declared:

"Henceforth, any woman who wants baobab leaves for her sauce shall pick them here."

How pretty!

Les fétiches se déplacent.


Good, she's asleep, the others too.

Oh no!

Better go see what Karaba has in store for the griot.


Yes, unwise woman one does not disobey Karaba the Witch!

I'll generously pardon you if your story is good.


But that's not how it goes.

A tale needs an audience to come to life.

There is me!

Am I not enough?

However important you may be, you are alone.

Alone?! With all my fetishes around me?


I'm here!

What's that voice?

It sounds like Kirikou.

Kirikou? A most charming child.

Kirikou! Where is he?

Mistress, when Kirikou hides, I can't see him.

Incompetent! And as for the others they're even more useless by night than by day.

But for now, the little toad won't bother us.

On the contrary, he knows how to listen.

I was dying to hear the rest of the story.

And a fire would be nice.



Could we tone it down a little?


I recount.

We are listening.

Once upon a time...

Thus it was in time.

Once upon a time, there lived a king.

A handsome king.

His name was Naré Magann Konaté.

One day, a soothsayer came to the village.

He cast his cowries upon the ground examined them...

What? We were all asleep?

What happened?

The griot is gone!

Well, I keep telling you.

You can't disobey the witch and get away with it.

What did Karaba do?

We'll never know.

Well, I know!

Of course, Mr. Know-it-all!

A minute ago you were asleep against your mother.

A minute ago, yes.

Last night, no.

I was worried, so I went to scout around the witch's.

I saw the blower-fetish come.

He blew a kind of pink rain over the gathering.

The griot had time to say: "How pretty!"

That's right!

Then she fell into a deep sleep, and so did you.

But of course, I know these flowers.

My friends, next time there's a pink rain don't say: "How pretty!"

Just run like mad.

What became of the griot?

The fetcher-fetishes came and took her to Karaba to tell her the story.

So you know the rest?


Tell us!

Tell us!

I can't. It's not nighttime.

Horrible child.

You'll tell us tonight.

I can't. I'll be hiding near Karaba's listening to how the tale ends.

The griot agreed to stay at the witch's to tell her a story every night.

In exchange, she made Karaba vow to leave us alone.

In the end, that griot is of some use.

We must find a means of freeing her.

Come on, Kirikou.

Be a nice boy. Tell us the rest.

Perhaps siesta time would be the right moment.

Yes indeed, siesta time, when it's too hot to work, is also an ideal moment for stories.

I recount.

We are listening.

Once upon a time...

Thus it was in time.

Once upon a time... the continuation of Soundiata Keita.

The people admired the skill, courage, and generosity of the young prince.

This annoyed the king's first wife who decided to have Soundiata Keita killed in the course of a feast at which all the warriors would wear animal masks.

You know, me too I am sometimes called a witch.

It's not the same, you don't know my story.

I'd like to.

My story is solely my affair.

Perhaps not...

Finish the tale of Soundiata Keita.

The warriors wearing the animal masks did indeed kill a warrior wearing a buffalo mask.

But it was one of their own.

Soundiata Keita had already taken refuge in a distant land.

Yet now the prince was an exile.

Soumaoro, the invincible and cruel king had ravaged many lands.

He'd decided to attack and destroy the land of Soundiata Keita before destroying others.

So the neighboring kings asked Soundiata Keita to lead them, to vanquish the invincible king.

There were so many warriors, archers, lancers, swordsmen, so many dead, they couldn't be counted.

Yet no sword or lance could vanquish the invincible Soumaoro.

So, Soundiata Keita armed his iron bow, that only he could arm, and shot the arrow made with the spur of a white cock.

It barely glanced King Soumaoro, but was fatal.

And thus begun the long reign of Soundiata Keita, the liberator, the generous, the just, the much-loved.

I accept.

Soundiata Keita had grown old, so old, it was time to die.

He was in the garden he planted.

Around him, stood his family.

Around his family were trees laden with fruit.

Around the trees laden with fruit stood a prosperous city.

Around the prosperous city was a great peaceful country, where everyone ate their fill and no one was enslaved.

Soundiata Keita smiled upon his sons.

They were magnificent, brave and generous.

The country was in good hands.

So Soundiata Keita said:

"I am happy."

And he died.

That's the end!

My, that's a good ending.

But it's not the ending I told.

The griot!

The griot has escaped!

And once more, we'll pay for it.

Griot, how did you escape Karaba?

I didn't escape.

I spoke.

Karaba let me go and I shall return.

But what did you say? That's incredible.

All of that belongs to the story of Karaba.

Perhaps one day I shall recount it, But I feel it is not yet over.

But tell me, Kirikou told your story badly?

He didn't tell it badly.

He simply added his own ending.

Kirikou may one day be a griot.

Not the kind who retells stories, but the kind who invents them.

Well I never, Kirikou a griot!

Long live stories!

Long live the griot!

Kirikou, it doesn't show, but he's a griot.

Kirikou, it doesn't show, but he's a griot.

Every night without fail, we'll have a tale.

Every night without fail, we'll have a tale.

We'll have a tale.

Needless to say, I'm delighted with this new talent of my dear Kirikou.

Yet he showed another which impressed me even more.

His mother was impressed too, but she in turn impressed her son.

As in fact, she had a secret.

And both of them touched all those around them.

And I truly mean, all.

It all started with a blade of grass.

Usually, I like the wind.

But not this one.

It's the Harmattan, from the desert.

It brings no good.

Here, we have a bit of shelter.

It's so hot!

It's so dusty!

It's so annoying!

This wind will drive me mad.

This wind will drive me mad!

On top of the heat and dust, it brings me every noise from that wretched village!

What are those dreadful sounds?

Kirikou's mother cutting wood and a baby crying.

The poor thing.

He's had enough too.

They're exhausting.

I'll make some music for them.

And now, what's that noise?

Two babies crying.

And Kirikou, who's blowing into his hands.

Go shut them up, all three of them!

The wind masked the arrival of the fetishes.


The fetishes!

The Great Karaba orders the babies and Kirikou to be quiet.

Kirikou, we can probably silence, but the babies, not so easily.

Maybe Karaba could tell us how.

I'll stop.

I'll find something better.

I'll make a trumpet!

With this maddening wind, Kirikou is madder than ever!

Here he comes.

But be careful with that knife!

Yes, yes.

Listen well.

If you carved a little hole, you'd get another sound.


Now if you block the hole with your finger, you'll get the first sound again.

Once more, the Great Karaba orders the babies and Kirikou to be quiet.

I'll stop.

You can take my trumpet to Karaba.

Tell Karaba that Kirikou is trying to pacify the babies who like us are suffering from the wind.

Yes, good choice.

It's a lot harder than marrow stem!

Yes, but it's a flute you can keep.

And it won't wither.

Be very careful with the knife.

Hush, little babies.

How silly of me, it's blocked.

I'll unblock it!

No, I'll show you how to play the flute.

Give it here!

Watch how I place my lips.

Give it, give it!

You've got it!

Hush, little babies.

I can play, but always the same thing.

I'll make a hole to have two sounds!

Hush, little babies.

It's kind of boring.

What if I made other holes?

Go ahead.

Hush, little babies.

Little babies, hush now.

But three holes makes four sounds!

Hush, little babies.


A flute! And I made it!

It's my flute!

See how pretty it is!

And listen.

I can play four notes!

I can't take any more!

The fetishes!

With this cursed wind, we don't hear them coming.

Hand over the instrument.

What instrument?

What a nasty thing to do.

What a nasty woman.

My flute...

Mother, what do I do now?

You make another flute.

And when Karaba destroys this one, I'll make another?

Yes, you should.

But we'll make sure she doesn't destroy it.

In the peace of this cave, you can learn to play well.

What's the package?

A huge surprise.

It was your father's flute.

My father's flute?

But you know how to play!

Yes, your father could do many things.

In particular, he was a wonderful flute player.

And since he loved me, he taught me how to play.

But you don't play anymore!


Why not?

People didn't like me playing.

Why not?

They didn't want a woman to play flute.

Why not?

There is no good reason.

But I didn't want to upset our neighbors.

However, I'm going to teach you.

Alone, you've already made great progress.

You've inherited your father's gifts.

Can I play it?


Oh no!

My arm is too short to reach the holes!

I'm sick of being little.

It's so discouraging.

Your father was little too and couldn't reach the holes of a big flute.

For now, You can play on the little flute you made.

You've progressed.

Your second flute is better than your first.

In fact, it's my third.

I'd already made one from marrow stem.

Now, try to repeat what I do.

What did you do?

I spoke to the note.

Show me! Show me!

Hush, little babies.

No let-up in the whining, but I wonder if the wind isn't easing.

Where have you been?

I was learning how to play the flute.

So, you know more than four notes?

No, but I can play those four notes better in the order I want, and I can talk to them.

Well, off you go. Join in the cacophony.

What's that?

It's little Kirikou blowing in a reed pipe.

He's getting better.

The fetishes!

The most powerful Karaba orders you to play louder so that she might hear.

I'll leave you with this music, so inconceivable, and with appeasement and harmony between children, men and women each so very different.

May this music sing within you for a long time.

Kirikou played From a little blade of grass

The babies are silent but not for very long.

Kirikou played From a squash stem

The babies are silent but not for very long.

Kirikou played From a reed with holes

The babies are silent but not for very long.

The babies are silent but not for very long.

We played well From pretty necklaces The babies screamed without listening to us We played well From a cassava grater The babies screamed without listening to us We played well From a calabash The babies screamed without listening to us The babies screamed without listening to us

We played well On the edges of a comb The babies screamed without listening to us We played well By plucking a bow The babies screamed without listening to us The babies screamed without listening to us The babies screamed without listening to us

But Kirikou's mother Played her music Her music was magnificent

The beauty has taken hold The babies have calmed down

The whole village danced

It was then that sounded In the distance, an incredible song

And all were in harmony