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Bamako

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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."

Special Features:
- 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

Review

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

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Tiecoura Traore, Maimouna Helene Diarra Aissa Maiga
  • Directors: Abderrahmane Sissako
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: New Yorker
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2008
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0011VIOAA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,697 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bamako" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I agree with other reviewers who had a positive response to the political aspect of this amazing film, but also, as a visual artist, I have to add that "Bamako" is VISUALLY the most beautifully framed film I have ever seen- in more than 50 years.
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Bamako (with English subtitles) makes you think of the grand scheme of life at the same time as you're taken up with its daily details. There are so many themes within this one movie that it's hard to absorb them all in a single viewing: A couple whose marriage is breaking up, even as they love each other and their young daughter. Daily life in a compound in Bamako, Mali. The beauty of little things like reflections in a puddle. The interplay of traditional and modern cultures. And the main point of the movie, a mock trial of World Bank debts and their effect on African states and people. With chuckles, tears, indignation and empathy, you come to the end of the movie wanting to start at the beginning again to see what you might have missed. Beautiful, moving, artistic and complex, it may be a little hard to understand for anyone totally unfamiliar with West African life. Bamako
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I waited for two years to order and then see this dvd. The wait was well worth it because it is such a primer to the subject that you hear about so much vis a vie Africa. Watching this mock trial on Globalization and its local impact is a lesson that we need to learn. I recommend this dvd to schools and teachers everywhere who are trying to get kids to understand the impact on the world of the World Bank, the IMF and all the other problems that we as Westerners have imposed on the Third World. This is a fascinating look at this problem and it is very well done. I Highly recommend this film.
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By J. Williams on December 23, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie was entertaining and informative. It was a peek at another culture. Anyone who is interested in the role being played by the world bank in third world countries should see Bamako and Life + debt.
The movie is not readily available at a standard price and may be out of print.
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Format: DVD
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 and the African people are facing each other in court in an attempt to clear up Africa's record and blame the perpetrators. Of course, the two opponent forces have very different ideas and they use statistics to support their arguments in a powerful and inspiring way. Most of the action happens in a court of law which in the movie is nothing else but the backyard of a house in Bamako, the capital of Burkina Faso. The plot is full of ridiculousness as well adorned lawyers and judges (with black ropes, microphones and their rulings) are set to perform just next to noisy chicken, goats and cows.
To read the full review or get a list of recommended African movies visit:
[...]
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The film narrates something important in a very original way. It is not fast but makes one reflect.
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