Souleymane Cissé – Finye AKA The Wind (1983)


Finye / Le vent/ The Wind (1982) continues Cisse’s examination of internal African problems. This film examines the sources of student unrest and the relationship between postcolonial and traditional authority under a military regime. It opens with a statement about the wind awakening man’s thoughts. Batrou, the daughter of the governor, Sangare, falls in love with Bah. The students become involved with a protest against the repressive government. Batrou must confront her father, who is both a parental as well as military authority figure. Sangare faces resistance on many fronts in addition to the conflict with his daughter. His third wife confronts his abuse of authority as does Kansaye, Bah’s grandfather and traditional leader who has been overthrown by the governor. While Cisse presents these stories, he is really concerned with the larger concerns of society. This film also won the FESPACO Grand Prize in 1983.
Sharon A. Russell, Guide to African Cinema Continue reading

Souleymane Cissé – Baara AKA Work (1978)

Free Image Hosting at


Born in Bamako, Mali, in 1940, Souleymane Cissé is one of Africa’s pre-eminent directors, with a varied body of creative work. As a young man, he worked as a photographer and a projectionist in Mali. From 1963 to 1969 he studied filmmaking in Moscow at the State Institute of Cinema, where a number of other future African directors (including the great Ousmane Sembène) received a firm grounding in the technical art of cinema under the accomplished Soviet director Mark Donskoi (!).

Cissé returned to Mali in 1969, where he went to work for the Ministry of Information as a documentary filmmaker. He made his first short fiction film, Five Days in a Life, in 1972, then his first feature, Den Muso/The Young Girl, in 1975. This was followed by Baara/The Porter in 1978, which won the Best Film and Best Actor awards at the Carthage Film Festival, along with major awards at Naumur and Locarno. It was followed by Finyé/Wind in 1982 (which won the Grand Prize at the 1983 Pan-African Film Festival), Yeelen/Brightness in 1987 (which won many international awards, including the Jury Award at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival), and Waati/Time in 1995. 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