2017 / 85 minutes

Directed by
Lisbet Holtedahl
Country of production

Alhajji Ibrahim is an Islamic scholar who has served as judge at the Sultanate of Ngaoundéré in Northern Cameroon for 46 years. The film follows Alhajji during the last years of his life, focusing on the relationships in a polygamous family. Living far away from urban centres, people like Alhaji and his family struggle to adapt to the arrival of modern education, their increasing marginalization, worsening poverty, and, in recent years, the constant threat of the Boko Haram insurgency. Shot over several years, Wives provides rare, intimate glimpses into the dynamics of a West-African polygamous Muslim family, and the challenges faced by an older generation whose norms and values are losing legitimacy in a rapidly changing environment.

In the 2019 RAI Film Fest RAI/Basil Wright
Language and subtitles
Location(s) depicted
West Africa
Family / Kinship Everyday Life Gender Role and Identity Marriage Personal Narrative Religion / Belief / Faith Social Norms