In the Stirrups reviews The Adventures of Selika
In 1861, Selika, a young African woman raised by a French noble family, is forced to leave her comfortable life. Alone, she sets out to gain her independence. This short film immediately grabs your attention, set in a time full of prejudice and uncertainty, this young girl exudes strength in the face of change.
Celebrated Director Sybil H Mair is a UK based film maker, with previous successes including The Equestrian. Sybil tells us; “The Adventures of Selika” is based on an image (from the Studio Nadar, of Félix Nadar, photographer of celebrated people in 19th Century France) of Selika Lazevski about whom little is known. Curious and puzzling, I was struck by the strength and pride that exude from this image of a beautiful black woman, elegantly attired in a riding habit,
believed to be an equestrian of haut dressage in 19th century France. Her gaze confronts us. Without antagonism or apology, she simply states, I am here. The film reimagines the crucial events which would lead her along this path.
We found the costumes striking and the setting perfect for this tale of pride and power. Making no apologies for who she is, Selika, played by the talented Karidja Touré, captures your attention and guides you along her problem strewn path, showing the battles she would have fought privately and the talent she has in the saddle. In 7 short minutes you find yourself immersed in the life of Selika, feeling her pain and confusion at being sent away by Madame (Jennifer Daley). On a whole it is, without a doubt, a must see and we cannot wait for the feature film in the future.