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The Gravediggers Wife 1 photo Arttu Peltomaa Bufo2021 copy

The Gravedigger's Wife

By Khadar Ayderus Ahmed
Wednesday 29.12.21

The Gravedigger's Wife is the first feature film by Finnish-Somali director Khadar Ayderus Ahmed. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has been selected as Somalia's first ever Academy Award nominee.

About the film

Guled and Nasra are a happy couple living just outside Djibouti with their teenage son Mahad. Guled has a poorly paid job as a graveyard digger. When Nasra becomes ill and is told that she needs a kidney transplant to survive, the family's situation becomes severe: the operation costs as much as Guled earns in a year. How will he raise the money and at the same time keep the family together?

About the filmmaker

Khadar Ayderus Ahmed (b. 1981), is a Finnish-Somali director and writer. About the film, he says:

We are used to seeing African stories told through the lens of Western filmmakers. This has been hard for me. It's all about war and human trafficking - one-dimensional and stereotypical stories. I thought: Where is the love? Where are the love stories I grew up with and the love stories I have witnessed in my own family? I wanted to show that there is love in that part of the world as well.

Khadar Ayderus Ahmed

About the introductory short film

Marthasykkeltiurbil (2021, 5 min) is a black and white silent film accompanied by a four-handed composition for church organ. One morning, Martha bikes to work from the cabin she lives in. As she cycles down the steep slopes towards town, a cabin tourist drives past her on the narrow gravel road. A capercaillie gets startled and flies into her front wheel.

Visual artist Lars Monrad Vaage works mainly with painting, drawing and film. A recurring motive in his works is the defiance of the seemingly invincible forces we are limited by.

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