Dakan as the first West African film to deal with homosexuality, literally opened up the world to new visions of Black queer life. This 1997 film directed by Mohamed Camara not only images the struggle of young male lovers Manga and Sory, but also documents their yearning for another world of possibility.
One of the earliest scenes in the film, Manga’s mother tells him that two men falling in love has never existed before in all of recorded human history. Rather than taking this as a simple and reductive expression of homophobia, it might be read as the ways in which Black queer life has been summarily excluded from the historical record. For Manga’s mother, people like her son and Sory not do not exist they cannot exist. In this way, the life that Manga and Sory imagine for themselves is a making for another world, a desire for another universe in which themselves and their love can thrive.
Moving through both familial expectations and social ridicule, both Manga and Sory attempt to live the lives that others have set out for them. Both trying to incorporate themselves into the normative world of heterosexual life, but always feel the desire for an otherwise way of being. Their longing to be together, to love who and how they most desire, is the yearning for another world. Manga and Sory each in their own wat reach towards this horizon of possibility as the film unfolds and their lives intermittently separate and converge again and again.