Money, Freedom, a Story of the CFA Franc 2022
Distributed by Icarus Films, 32 Court St., 21st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 800-876-1710
Produced by Oualid Baha, Aurélien Bodinaux, and Katy Léna Ndiaye
Directed by Katy Léna Ndiaye
Streaming, 104 mins
College - General Adult
African Studies; Colonialism; Economics
Date Entered: 12/07/2023Reviewed by Gisèle Tanasse, University of California Berkeley
In Money, Freedom, A Story of the CFA Franc, Katy Léna Ndiaye artfully weaves personal narrative, critical colonial history, and economic theory to expose the exploitative colonial economic power France continues to hold over African states. Using perspectives from historians, economists, bankers, politicians, and linguists, Ndiaye charts the entire history of the CFA from its introduction to control raw material costs for France, to the illusion of liberation-decolonization in the 1960’s, through France’s manipulative devastating devaluation in the 1990’s, and surprisingly to France’s continued influence, despite having abandoned the Franc to join the Euro zone.
Ndiaye’s impressive film is enhanced throughout with rich archival footage, expertly edited for a visually stunning and engaging feature length documentary on a challenging, thought-provoking topic. Money, Freedom, A Story of the CFA Franc offers a truly unique perspective on the economic role colonialism continues to play through currency, and posits that the only solution requires a complete paradigm shift, from the current predatory economy to the next wave of decolonization, which centers African-created solutions rooted in rich pre-colonial history.
Money, Freedom, A Story of the CFA Franc is highly recommended for Economics, African Studies, Colonialism, Decolonizing and Post-Colonialism Studies as well as French and Francophone studies.
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