On this episode we look at two of Malian director Abderrahmane Sissako’s films, the newly restored Bamako, and one of our favourite films of the 2010s, Timbuktu. We also discuss locating African cinema and challenges in distribution and preservation.
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This episode features Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney, Executive Editor Orla Smith, and Associate Editor Brett Pardy.
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The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are put on trial in the courtyard of a house in a poor area of Mali’s capital city, Bamako. Life in the neighbourhood goes on around and in the midst of the trial.
Bamako is available on DVD and VOD, and streaming on Ovid in the US
Set during the 2012 Jihadist occupation of Timbuktu in northern Mali, the film focuses on cattle herder Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed dit Pino), his wife Satima (Toulou Kiki), and their daughter Toya (Layla Walet Mohamed). Their struggles, complicated by the death of a prized cow, are complicated when they are drawn into the arcane system of order implemented by the Jihadists.
Timbuktu is available on DVD and VOD, and streaming on Kanopy in the US and Australia
- Timbuktu was our 30th favourite film of the 2010s. See the other choices here.
- Read film curator Mark Cosgrove’s interview with film scholar Aboubakar Sanogo about preserving and restoring classic African cinema.