TOUR DU FASO
Wilm Huygen (born 1979) studied Theatre, Film and Television studies, History and English in Cologne and Rome. After his master's examination in 2007, he completed a postgraduate course at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne with a focus on documentary film directing. His graduation film "DER SCHWULE NEGER NOBI" was supported by Filmstiftung NRW and had its premiere at the Max Ophüls Prize 2010. The same year he was awarded the Phoenix Award for the project "ENDZEIT". For the WDR series “Menschen hautnah” he realised "DAS SCHWERSTE MAL". His reportage "DER KOHLENMANN" (WDR "hier und heute") was recently awarded with the German Camera Award.
Culture clash on the sandy streets of Burkina Faso. Africa’s biggest cycling race, the Tour du Faso, is a ten-stage challenge where adventurous European amateur cyclist and African local heroes compete passionately to make their dreams come true. Yet the film does not focus on the question of who will win – instead, it puts the protagonists’ experiences centre stage.
Since 1987 the annual race has retained its unique and very African character as a flawed – but much more charming – copy of the Tour de France, its European role model. The race is held at average temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius, the course includes dusty, challenging roads, the advertising ‘caravan’ consists of a single car and the cyclists are camping amidst the African savannah by night during the race.
TOUR DU FASO takes the audience time travelling back to pre-commercialised decades. Following the Tour du Faso, we learn more about cycling, Africa and the extraordinary fighting spirit of the underdogs. Here, it is still the taking part that counts...