Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

Bamako 2006

Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako

In director Abderrahmane Sissako's fierce and unforgettable piece of political art, the African nation puts economic globalisation on trial in a hot, dusty courtyard in Mali's capital Bamako.

France / Mali / USA In Bambara and French with English subtitles
118 minutes 35mm


Abderrahmane Sissako


Jacques Besse


Nadia Ben Rachid


Aïssa Maïga
Tiécoura Traoré
Hélène Diarra
Habib Dembélé
Danny Glover
Elia Suleiman


Cannes (Out of Competition), Toronto, New York 2006; Rotterdam 2007


In director Abderrahmane Sissako’s fierce and unforgettable piece of political art, a trial against nothing less than economic globalisation unfolds in a hot, dusty, gnat-filled courtyard in Mali’s capital Bamako. The plaintiff in this symbolic tribunal is Africa itself, while the defendants are the World Bank, the IMF and their associates. Splendid, eloquent courtroom arguments are peppered with lyrical interludes of local life. A bar singer’s marriage breaks down; a man prepares to die.

“I have never seen a film quite like… Sissako’s seething, complicated and disarmingly beautiful investigation of Africa’s social, economic and human crises. The agony of Africa has been explored, and exploited, in several high-profile recent documentaries and fictional features, from God Grew Tired of Us… to Blood Diamond and The Constant Gardener. Bamako is something different: a work of cool intelligence and profound anger, a long, dense argument that is also a haunting visual poem.” — A.O. Scott, NY Times