Prod.: Tahoua Productions. 35mm. D.: 15’. Col.
Kokoa is a stop-motion tour de force. In it, Alassane transforms Niger’s traditional style of kokowa wrestling into a championship of animal combatants – toads, birds, iguanas, and a chameleon – in a sweltering arena, goaded by a lavender-voiced frog announcer and a crowd of placid onlookers. Even when the puppets’ faces remain frozen, the dynamic movements (particularly of the crab referee) and droll commentary re-contextualize the sport while celebrating its thrills – anthropomorphized, but without easy allegory.
Steve Macfarlane, “Filmmaker Magazine”, Spring 2017