Hawa, no challenge is too daunting for this girl

Sania Halifa in Hawa

Hawa, from French director Maïmouna Doucouré, tells the story of a young girl who decides Michelle Obama should be the one to adopt her. She pursues this goal with intrepid determination.

Hawa, played by Sania Halifa, lives with her grandmother. Her grandmother, Maminata (Oumou Sangaré), is a griot from her home country of Cameroon. She’s been caring for Hawa, but is now terminally ill. She introduces Hawa to all her relatives living in Paris but none of them will do as a new caretaker when Maminata dies.

But Hawa has an idea of her own. She should be adopted by Michelle Obama, who is visiting Paris on a book tour.

This young girl is fierce. She’s different and she’s had to learn to be tough to survive. She’s independent and unafraid. She finds out all of the places Michelle Obama will be and goes there in an attempt to meet her and ask to be adopted.

Sania Halifa and Oumou Sangaré side by side on the poster for Hawa.

Hawa’s friend Erwan (Titouan Gerbier) helps her. His father works security at concerts and events where Michelle Obama is scheduled to appear. As soon as Hawa learns where Mrs. Obama is scheduled to be, she takes off on her scooter to get there.

It’s not easy getting into venues with lots of security, but she’s fearless and inventive about sneaking into places. Along the way she befriends the singer Yseult and the astronaut Thomas Pesquet. Both of them try to help her.

There were beautiful and touching moments throughout the film. Each person Hawa interacted with had special moments with her. Honestly, the ending moved me to tears.

Sania Halifa had no acting experience when she took this part. It was physically and emotionally challenging. She did a great job with the role.

You can see this film on Prime Video.

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