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SMALL COUNTRY: An African Childhood

1h 53m Drama, Africa, War 2020

Available for rental: Friday, February 25, 2022 @ Noon PST → Monday, February 28, 2022 @ 11:59pm PST

Join our Zoom Q&A Discussion with Le Professeur Kevin Elstob on Friday, March 4 @ 6:30pm PST.:

The first time we presented a film by Eric Barbier, the historical drama Promise At Dawn in 2019, it overwhelmingly won your hearts and our Audience Prize! We are happy to present Barbier’s follow-up to Promise at Dawn , SMALL COUNTRY: AN AFRICAN CHILDHOOD (Petit Pays), as our first attempt at celebrating Black History Month!

Early 1990s. Gabriel (Djibril Vancoppenolle), 10, lives in a wealthy neighborhood in Burundi, his “small country,” with his parents and sister. His father (Jean-Paul Rouve, C’est la vie! - 2018 SFFF MiniFest) is white and his mother (the magnificent Isabelle Kabano) is black, with much of her family across the border in Rwanda. Gabriel is a happy, carefree kid enjoying life with his friends as Burundi is celebrating the free election of its President.
Then in 1993, tensions in neighboring Rwanda between the Hutu and Tutsi spill over, threatening Gabriel’s family and his innocence.

SMALL COUNTRY: AN AFRICAN CHILDHOOD (Petit Pays) is a powerful historical drama based on the semi-autobiographical book from Gaël Faye, a popular Franco-Rwandan singer, rapper, and writer.
Faye was born in Bujumbura, Burundi of a French father and Rwandan mother. The film follows a fictional mixed-race boy growing up in Burundi at the onset of civil strife, and it is through the eyes of this innocent protagonist that we see the dissolution of a country from burgeoning democracy into warring tribal factions.

Not Rated (some violence, war situations).

Original Title: Petit Pays


Eric Barbier


Eric Barbier


Gaël Faye


French, Kirundi, Swahili


France, Belgium