Welcome to the RAI Film Festival Programme 2019!

Explore the 2019 programme below, either by browsing the separate sections, or looking at the timetable view.

Student showcases films made by the new generation of ethnographic filmmakers, often as part of doctoral projects
RAI/Basil Wright features the films competing for the top prizes at this year’s festival
Material Culture focuses on films with something to say about the way we engage with our material world
Intangible Culture explores worlds of music, dance, performance, and ritual
Special Interest explores a range of fascinating topics, including programmes with a special director or thematic focus
Shorts is new for 2019, and celebrates the best in short-form ethnographic filmmaking as a cauldron of innovation


Directed by
Lisbet Holtedahl

Countries of production

Year of production

Black and white, colour or both

85 minutes

28 March
Cinema 1, Watershed 8:50 AM
RAI/Basil Wright

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.

Location(s) depicted

Language(s) of film subjects