• Souleymane Cissé – Min Ye AKA Tell Me Who You Are (2009)

    Drama2001-2010African CinemaMaliSouleymane Cissé

    An adultery drama set in a bourgeois family in Bamako, Mali, where tensions are rife within the household: Mimi, bored with the polygamy and routine of marriage, wants to leave Issa. She has a lover, Abba. How will all three cope with this?Read More »

  • Adama Drabo – Ta Dona AKA Fire (1991)

    1991-2000Adama DraboAfrican CinemaDramaMali

    A forestry engineer pushes for reforestation measures, against the will of his selfish superiors, and embarks on a search for a mystical healing plant linking him with the ancestral knowledge of his people.Read More »

  • Souleymane Cissé – Waati AKA Time (1995)

    1991-2000African CinemaDramaMaliSouleymane Cissé

    Beginning in South Africa under the apartheid regime, the film follows a young girl who flees the country after a violent confrontation with a local white landowner in which her father is killed. She settles in Abidjan, where, ten years later, she has become a university student. As part of her studies, she visits the Taureg tribe on the edge of the Sahara before at last returning to post-Apartheid South Africa.Read More »

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

    1991-2000Abderrahmane SissakoAfrican CinemaComedyDocumentaryMali

    In the last days of 1999, after a few shots of a French supermarket, abundant in food and color, we hear Dramane compose a letter home to his father in Mali whom he then visits in the village of Sokolo. He meets the lovely Nana, and there are possibilities. People place long-distance calls from the post office. “Reaching people,” says the postmaster, “is a matter of luck.” Contrasts between Paris and Sokolo – between Mali and France and between Africa and Europe – are underscored by voice-over poems and comments by Aimé Césaire. A man dictates a letter to a brother in France: what is the nature of their hardships? People look for their place on this earth.Read More »

  • Souleymane Cissé – Baara AKA Work (1978)

    1971-1980African CinemaDramaMaliSouleymane Cissé

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    In this early work, Cissé focuses on a young innocent who has left the countryside for the city and become caught in the middle of social conflict. Befriended by the manager of a textile factory, he watches as his mentor is caught between the demands of a cruel owner and the needs of the much-abused workers he oversees. Having spent years studying Marxist ideology in Moscow, Cissé was the first African director to directly confront and criticize the condition of workers in the city. Yet the social constructs and characters he develops are presented with a clarity unencumbered by the typical moralizing of socialist films.
    Harvard Film ArchiveRead More »

  • Souleymane Cissé – Finye AKA The Wind (1983)

    1981-1990African CinemaDramaMaliSouleymane Cissé


    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 CinemaRead More »

  • Abderrahmane Sissako – Bamako [+Extras] (2006)

    2001-2010Abderrahmane SissakoAfrican CinemaArthouseMaliPolitics


    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…

    — IMDb.Read More »

  • Souleymane Cissé – Yeelen AKA Brightness (1987)

    1981-1990African CinemaArthouseFantasyMaliSouleymane Cissé


    A young man with magical powers journeys to his uncle to request help in fighting his sorcerer father.
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  • Souleymane Cissé – Den Muso AKA The Young Girl (1975)

    1971-1980African CinemaDramaMaliSouleymane Cissé

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    A young mute woman is raped and becomes pregnant, with disastrous consequences within her family. The film also sketches the social/economic situation in urban Mali in the 1970s, particularly in relation to the treatment of women. Written by Gareth McFeelyRead More »

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