Abderrahmane Sissako – Heremakono aka Waiting for Happiness [+Extras] (2002)


Description: Synopsis

Waiting for Happiness depicts life in the seaside town of Nouadhibou in Mauritania. A young man, Abdallah (Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed), visits the town, where his mother lives, before emigrating. He feels disconnected from his people because he dresses in Western clothes, and he does not speak the language, but he connects in small ways during his stay. A taciturn elderly electrician, Maata (Maata Ould Mohamed Abeid), teaches an energetic boy, Khatra (Khatra Ould Abdel Kader), his trade, while a traditional singer (Nema Mint Choueikh) teaches a talented young girl hers. One would-be émigré washes up on the beach amid massive ships long ago run aground. Abdallah’s mother vainly urges him to follow traditional customs while he’s in town. Nana (Nana Diakite) tells Abdallah a sad tale about tracking down the father of her lost child in Europe. The film jumps forward in time at several points, and eventually both Khatra and Abdallah try to leave the village. Continue reading

Abderrahmane Sissako – Timbuktu (2014)


Cannes 2014: Timbuktu review – searing fundamentalist drama
By Peter Bradshaw

Abderrahmane Sissako’s passionate and visually beautiful film Timbuktu is a cry from the heart – with all the more moral authority for being expressed with such grace and such care. It is a portrait of the country of his childhood, the west African state of Mali, and in particular the city of Timbuktu, whose rich and humane traditions are being trampled, as Sissako sees it, by fanatical jihadis, often from outside the country. The story revolves around the death of a cow, affectionately named “GPS” – an appropriate symbol for a country that has lost its way. Continue reading

Abderrahmane Sissako – Bamako (2006)




Melé is a bar singer, her husband Chaka is out of work and the couple is on the verge of breaking up… In the courtyard of the house they share with other families, a trial court has been set up. African civil society spokesmen have taken proceedings against the World Bank and the IMF whom they blame for Africa’s woes… Amidst the pleas and the testimonies, life goes on in the courtyard. Chaka does not seem to be concerned by this novel Africa’s desire to fight for its rights…

(from the official Bamako website) Continue reading

Abderrahmane Sissako – La vie sur terre AKA Life on Earth (1998)



Description: La Vie Sur Terre (Life on Earth) is a 1998 Malian comedy/drama film written and directed by, and starring Abderrahmane Sissako. It is set in the village of Sokolo and depicts rural life on the eve of the 21st century. Runtime is 60 minutes.

The film earned Sissako awards at the Fribourg International Film Festival, the Ouagadougou Panafrican Film and Television Festival and the San Francisco International Film Festival. Continue reading