Girl Sold for Reasonable Price of One Bag of Millet, in Louise-Marie Colon’s Leila


One of the most intriguing events at the recently concluded Human Rights Watch Film Festival was a program called Youth Producing Change, a series of short films made by children in troubled countries around the world turning cameras on their own lives. The results were often touching and vibrant, as can be seen in Leila, a surprisingly sad yet ultimately charming little animation short made by Belgian animator Louise-Marie Colon and sixteen schoolchildren in Burkina Faso. The story of a little girl from a family of poor farmers who is exchanged for a bag of millet, it’s a dark, evocative, little fable featuring a rough animation style and the voices of the kids themselves. Clocking in around three minutes, it seems very simple — and it is, beautifully so — but we’re still finding it hard to shake, weeks after first seeing it.