7.2/10
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12 user 17 critic

Brightness (1987)

Yeelen (original title)
A young man with magical powers journeys to his uncle to request help in fighting his sorcerer father.

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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Issiaka Kane ...
Niankoro, le fils
Aoua Sangare ...
Attou, la jeune femme Peul
Niamanto Sanogo ...
Soma le pere / Djigui the twin
Balla Moussa Keita ...
Rouma Boll, le roi Peul
Soumba Traore ...
Mah, la mere
Ismaila Sarr ...
Bofing, l'oncle
Youssouf Tenin Cissé ...
Le petit garcon d'Attou
Koke Sangare ...
Le chef de Komo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Youssouf Coulibaly
Manzon Coumare
Souleymane Coumare
Sidi Diallo
Nadje Doumbla
Zan Doumbla
Bremira Dumbla
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Storyline

A young man with magical powers journeys to his uncle to request help in fighting his sorcerer father.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 April 1988 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Brightness  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Niankoro, le fils: [subtitled version] I have offended you. To redeem Bambara honor, I merit death. I have broken my nation's laws. I am not asking for mercy, but... death by your hand.
Rouma Boll, le roi Peul: [subtitled version] What's wrong? Speak!
Niankoro, le fils: [subtitled version] By the gods, by the sacred wood, by my ancestors, I swore to help you... to cure your wife. But... my penis betrayed me.
Rouma Boll, le roi Peul: [subtitled version] What do you mean?
[very long pause]
Rouma Boll, le roi Peul: Tell the truth!
Niankoro, le fils: [subtitled version] I slept with your wife.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Visually stunning, "Yeelen" is the most mystical and the most beautiful of African films…

Its director, Souleymane Cissé, from Mali in West Africa, has expressed his desire to make films which are uniquely African in style rather than imitating those of the United Sates or Europe… To this end he relies on stories, true and mythical, told by old men and handed down through the generations…

A young warrior (Issiaka Kane), threatened with death by his evil sorcerer father (Niamanto Sanogo), goes on a journey where he learns the power of magic… The film inhabits a world of dreams, but not the kind described by Dr Freud…

However, the movie's basis in a mystical tradition does not render it inaccessible to Western audiences… The structure of the narrative, based on a quest for magical knowledge and power, is clear and firm, and the consistent pattern of imagery based on the elements of fire, water, earth and light (the title translates as 'brightness') is not specific to African culture… The film's use of landscape, yellow spaces of the desert, is one of its chief glories… The performers too have great charm…


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