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"Bamako," "The Films of Morris Engel"

6 May 2008 4:45 AM, PDT | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

By Michael Atkinson

Malian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako may have made the one African film everybody needs to see . at least for its disarming fugue of frank political awareness and state-of-the-quotidian African life. In most other ways, though, "Bamako" (2006) is a challenge to orthodoxy, because it's not driven by its narrative, and hardly even provides an establishing context for itself. Before we know it, we're in a sun-dappled Mali courtyard (Sissako's family home, as it turns out), in which a kind of tribunal is going on, complete with black-robed jurists, waiting witnesses, anxious journalists and stacks of documentation. This is, we slowly realize, a fantasy trial in which the African people have taken civil proceedings against the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and American-led global capitalism in general, for the crime of exploiting and loan-sharking the continent and its peoples. The testimony is not from actors, but from real African citizens, »

- Michael Atkinson

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1 item from 2008


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