UC Berkeley Library

Mali

Faraw! Une Mère des Sables (Mother of the Dunes)(Mali, 1997)

Directed by Abdoulaye Ascofare. With three difficult children, a crippled, mentally unbalanced husband and no steady income, Zamiatou is poorest woman in an impoverished desert village in Mali. She could have plenty of money to survive if she would sell her daughter as a prostitute to nearby French settlers, but she refuses to do so. Unfortunately, her family situation continues to spiral downward and she is finally forced to seek outside help. In Songhai with English subtitles. 90 min.

Femmes Aux Yeux Ouverts = Women with Open Eyes (Library of African Cinema).

Profiles contemporary African women in four West African countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Benin. We meet a woman active in the movement against female genital mutilation, a health care worker educating women about sexually transmitted diseases, and businesswomen who describe how they have set up an association to share expertise and provide mutual assistance. 1994. 52 min.
Related web sites:Description from California Newsreel catalog

Finzan: A Dance for the Heroes. (Mali, 1990)

A film by Cheick Oumar Sissoko. Tells the story of two women's rebellion. Nanyuma, a young widow, refuses her brother-in-law, the village fool, when he asserts his traditional right to "inherit" her. Fili, a young girl sent from the city by her conservative father, is brutally circumcised by the village women who are scandalized that she resists the age old custom. In Bambara with English subtitles. 107 min.

Genesis (La Genèse) (France | Mali, 1999)

Directed by Cheick Oumar Sissoko. Genesis is given a new spin which recasts a famous story by relocating it in the nation of Mali and using a cast of African actors. Covering Chapters 23-37, it recounts the story of Esau whose birthright is stolen by his brother Jacob in exchange for a plate of beans. This allegorical tale combines an accurate interpretation of the Biblical story with relevant allusions to African history and culture. In Bambara with English subtitles. 102 min.

Guimba, Un Tyrant une Époque (Guimba, the Tyrant) (Mali | Burkina Faso | Germany, 1995)

Directed by Cheick Oumar Sissoko. An epic set in the legendary past of Mali (West Africa) to provide a biting allegory of present-day African politics. Through the story of the downfall of Guimba the tyrant, the filmmaker foretells a similar fate for the many dictators who still pillage the continent. He frames his film with the appearance of a griot, a traditional African storyteller who passes down the "wisdom of the ancestors", looking to the values and legends of the African past for inspiration and guidance in reconstructing well-governed, self-sufficient nations.

Guimba: Un Tyran, Une Epoque

An epic set in the legendary past of Mali (West Africa) to provide a biting allegory of present-day African politics. Through the story of the downfall of Guimba the tyrant, the filmmaker foretells a similar fate for the many dictators who still pillage the continent. He frames his film with the appearance of a griot, a traditional African storyteller who passes down the "wisdom of the ancestors", looking to the values and legends of the African past for inspiration and guidance in reconstructing well-governed, self-sufficient nations. 1995. 93 min.

Keita!: L'heritage du Groit.

Based on one of the most important works of African oral literature, the Sundjata epic. When a djeliba, a master griot or bard, arrives mysteriously at the home of Mabo Keita to teach him "the meaning of his name," the boy and griot are inevitably brought into conflict with his Westernized mother and schoolteacher, who have rejected African tradition. The griot reveals to Mabo the story of his distant ancestor, Sundjata Keita, the 13th century founder of the great Malian trading empire. 1994. 94 min.

Life on Earth (La Vie sur Terre) (Mali | Mauritania | France, 1998)

Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako. A fictional documentary by the filmmaker which points out the significance of the start of the 21st century and our so-called Information Age while the people in his father's village in Mali are still struggling to enter the 20th century. Originally broadcast in 1998 as part of a European television program: 2000 vu par. In French and Bambara with English subtitles. 61 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Mali, Bearing the Flame of Peace(Africa: Search for Common Ground; 8)

Part of a series profiling formal efforts by various Sub-Saharan African countries to peacefully resolve contemporary conflicts. The first film visits with Mali's A. T. Toure, one of only two military rulers in Sub-Saharan Africa to have voluntarily turned his nation over to democratic governance. Increasingly seen as a key leader, peacemaker and role model for a new generation of African leaders, he shares his hopes for democracy in Mali. The second film focuses on the Lesotho Highlands Dam Project which seeks economic development for this poor nation.

Mastering a Continent (Africa series).

Looks at two important developments in early African society, the growth of cattle keeping and agriculture. Focuses on the activities of three communities, the Pokot in Northern Kenya, Sukor in Nigeria and the Dogon of Mali. 1984. 60 min.

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