The Tree of Spirits / L’Arbre aux esprits


by Cilia Sawadogo


Canada, Burkina Faso / 2005 / 45mins / Animation, Family / French

In the desert savannah, Kodou and Tano meet Ayoka, the caretaker of a century-old tree that a contractor wants to cut down. Kodou, guided by Ayoka, seeks his ancestors to ask for their help. Tano stays at the tree to protect it. But the ancestors can only advise him; the children must find the solution themselves. They discover that the gigantic baobab is a door between two worlds. The spirit of the rain, trapped by the spirit of the drought, can't come back to Earth. Without the sacred baobab, the road to Earth will remain closed forever, and nature's balance will be shattered.

About the Director

Cilia Sawadogo

Cilia Sawadogo studied communication, specializing in cinema animation at Concordia University in Montréal. She started her career in 1989, and made many cartoons for Sesame Street. As director, writer and animator, she has received numerous awards for films she directed at the National Film Board of Canada and independently. She made her first animated film, La femme mariée à trios hommes, in 1993. Her other animated films include L’Arrêt d’autobus, The Bus Stop and Naissance, Birth, Le Joueur de cora and Christopher Changes His Name. Sawadogo also produces video-clips, designs posters, and illustrates books. Learn More