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Directed by Clement Oubrerie, Marguerite Abouet

France, Ivory Coast 2013 84 mins. In French

Based on the series of young adult graphic novels, this vibrant animated tale unfolds in a colorful, working-class neighborhood in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Life is good in Yop City: its sun-soaked markets, open air bars, and quirky cafés are the perfect backdrop for 19-year-old Aya and her two best friends, Adjoua and Bintou. While the bookish Aya hopes to get a degree in medicine, the ambitions of Adjoua and Bintou lean more toward the degree to which they can attract young men. In this upbeat, gentle weave of modern urban Africa, the three girls navigate nosy neighbors, meddling relatives, young romance, and old traditions, all complicated by the unexpected pregnancy of Adjoua. Aya of Yop City presents us with a picture of African life too seldom seen in the West—lighthearted, warm, and universal.