‘The Gravedigger’s Wife’: first trailer for Cannes Critics’ Week title (exclusive)

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Screen can exclusively reveal the first trailer for Finnish-Somali filmmaker Khadar Ayderus Ahmed’s The Gravedigger’s Wife ahead of its world premiere in Cannes Critics’ Week in July.

Set in Djibouti City in the Horn of Africa, it stars Finnish-Somali actor Omar Abdi as a struggling gravedigger on a quest to raise the money for the kidney transplant desperately needed by his beloved wife, played by Canadian-Somali model and actress Yasmin Warsame.

Guled and Nasra are a loving couple, living in the outskirts of Djibouti city with their teenage son, Mahad. However, they are facing difficult times: Nasra urgently needs an expensive surgery to treat a chronic kidney disease. Guled is already working hard as a gravedigger to make ends meet: how can they find the money to save Nasra and keep the family together?

The family drama plays out against the colourful backdrop of the makeshift homes and teeming streets of Djibouti City, which has rarely been captured on the big screen before. 

It is one of just three features with strong African connections due to play in Cannes Official Selection or one of the parallel sections this year. The others comprise Competition title Lingui by Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun and Rwanda-shot Directors’ Fortnight selection Neptune Frost.

The Gravedigger’s Wife is produced by Finnish producer Mark Lwoff and Misha Jaari at Helsinki-based Bufo Productions in co-production with France’s Pyramide Productions and Germany’s Twenty Twenty Vision.

It developed under the auspices of the Cannes Cinéfondation Residence programme and also won the €20,000 prize post-production prize at the Marrakech International Film Festival’s Atlas Workshops industry event in 2019.

The film, selected for the upcoming edition of the Critics’ Week, set to take place from 7 to 15 July, during the 74th Cannes Film Festival, is a Finnish-German-French production staged by Oy Bufo AbTwenty Twenty Vision and Pyramide Productions, and sold internationally by Orange Studio.


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