Ken Bugul: Nobody Wants Her

Senegalese author Ken Bugul proves to be an engaging presence in this 2013 French documentary, discussing her upbringing in a village where polygamy was the norm and her experiences bouncing around Europe before she returned home poor and virtually homeless. Her acclaimed debut novel, The Abandoned Baobab (1982), was written around that time, and excerpts from that book and some of her others are read in portentous voice-over as director Silvia Voser presents neorealist footage of destitute villagers and ultrawide panoramas of Dakar and Thièls. These sequences stress the already obvious point that Bogul’s prose is rooted in her homeland, and they eat up a good portion of the hour-long running time, precluding much sense of her supposed global influence. In French with subtitles.