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An extraordinary trial is taking place in a residential courtyard in Bamako, the capital city of Mali. African citizens have taken proceedings against such international financial institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whom civil society blames for perpetuating Africa's debt crisis, at the heart of so many of the continent's woes. As numerous trial witnesses (schoolteachers, farmers, writers, etc.) air bracing indictments against the global economic machinery that haunts them, life in the courtyard presses forward. Melé, a lounge singer, and her unemployed husband Chaka are on the verge of breaking up; a security guard's gun goes missing; a young man lies ill; a wedding procession passes through; and women keep everything rolling - dyeing fabric, minding children, spinning cotton, and speaking their minds.
Written and directed by the celebrated filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako (Waiting for Happiness) and co-executive produced by Danny Glover (who also provides a cameo in the film), this critically acclaimed political drama - filled with a lush mix of warm colors and impassioned music - offers a unique opportunity for audiences to become familiar with contemporary Africa. Sissako, who grew up in the courtyard that the film is set in, hired professional lawyers and judges along with "witnesses" to express their true feelings. Bamako voices Africa's grievances in an original and profoundly moving way.
Director Ken Russell declared Bamako to be a "revolutionary lesson in contemporary film-making." The Observer's Philip French listed Bamako among his top 50 films of the past 5 decades. Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com, who named the film as his number one film of 2007, deemed the film a "fearless high-wire act, grim and witty, confrontational and self-mocking." A.O. Scott of The New York Times stated that he's "never seen a film quite like 'Bamako'... a work of cool intelligence and profound anger... necessary viewing."
- Interviews with: director Abderrahmane Sissako, executive producer / actor Danny Glover, Yao Graham (Third World Network Africa) and Gita Sen (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era)
- Harry Belafonte: clip from NY Film Festival panel
- Theatrical trailer
- Dolby Digital 5.1
- Enhanced for 16x9 TVs
- Optional English subtitles
- Scene Selections
- Essays by Aminata Traoré and Mahmood Mamdani
A film that needs to be seen, argued over and seen again. A disarmingly beautiful...fierce and unforgettable piece of political art... that is also a haunting visual poem. --A.O. Scott, The New York Times
One of the most original cinematic achievements of the decade... It will leave your brain buzzing. --Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
A passionate challenging drama. Grade: A --Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
If one has any interest in the continent of Africa, this is an incredible film - brilliant texture, stunning images, spot on story. Thank you Mr. Sissako.Published 6 months ago by iluvafrica
The film narrates something important in a very original way. It is not fast but makes one reflect.Published on September 16, 2009 by Assinie
The Mauritian writer-director Abderrahmane Sissako brings us a powerful yet difficult to grasp with and appreciate drama following the fictional mock trial in which the World Bank... Read morePublished on May 24, 2009 by Codrin Stefan Arsene