Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso : its tower blocks and shanty towns, the moder city's opulence rubbing shoulders with the poverty of the suburbs. Through the family of Fousseini, a devout Muslim and upholder of Islamic tradition, "Haramuya" paints the portrait of a city caught in the twin traps of modernism and traditionalism. Fousseini tries to run his family in accordance with his ancestral code of honour. One of his sons, a projectionist, supports the whole family against his wife's better judgment. The other son hangs around in Ouagadougou all day, searching for his fiancée...
"Haramuya" is an urban chronicle. The film is a mosaic, a portrait gallery of characters interwoven with their situations. The city has commandeered its inhabitants' lives. Used to community living within a system of traditional laws, they find themselves in an impersonal housing complex where the Law is based on modern legitimacy. The aim of the film is not to condemn a system but to denounce its effects, i.e. the kinds of behaviour each person may be faced with. In a way it is an alarm bell against cultural dispossession, for those who consume the image of others take on their culture."