Dia – Blood Money
After a deadly accident, the life of Dane, a driver for a humanitarian NGO in N'Djamena, is turned upside down. Director Achille Ronaimou reflects on the common practice of blood money.
Dane, a driver for a humanitarian NGO in N'Djamena, leads a peaceful life with his young wife Delphine, who is expecting a child, until the day he hits Younous, a 9-year-old boy on his way home from school. He takes the boy to hospital and when he comes back the next day to check on him, he is told that the child is dead.
Younous' parents are demanding five million CFA francs for killing their son. This sum represents the Dia or blood money, otherwise they will take the life of a family member.
Dia, a practice that goes back to the time of the Old Testament, stems from the precept: "An eye for an eye for and a tooth for a tooth". It consists of compensating the victim's family for a crime, either by revenge or by agreement. It was intended to pacify society and to regulate, as a law, the violence in ancient societies. In Chad, where it is prevalent, it has become a source of social conflict, drama and business.
Dia is inspired by a true story, that of my cousin Ngaro: after having been duped and ruined in the name of the dia, he he took revenge by committing a heinous crime. He kept his crime of revenge a secret for a long time, but crushed by memory and remorse, he finally confided in me.