Genesis (1999)
"La genèse" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  8 December 1999 (France)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 149 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

The biblical story of Jacob and Esau.

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Cast overview:
Sotigui Kouyaté ...
Salif Keita ...
Balla Moussa Keita ...
Maimouna Hélène Diarra ...
Balla Habib Dembélé ...
(as Habibou Dembele)
Magma Coulibaly
Oumar Namory Keita


Inspired by the Holy Book of Genesis, this film tells the power struggle between two families: a clan of herders led by Jacob and another clan of hunters fronted by his brother Esau. Caught in the crossfire is their cousin, Hamor and his tribe of farmers. Written by L.H. Wong <>

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biblical | rape | revenge | See All (3) »




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8 December 1999 (France)  »

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Genesis  »

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User Reviews

visually sumptuous but narratively diffuse
4 May 2000 | by (St. Davids, PA) – See all my reviews

The concept of Genesis sounds excellent--a retelling of Jacob's story from the Hebrew scriptures set in Africa, which might very well be where the story actually took place. In fact, the film is visually overwhelming--vast, barren, rocky desert violently interrupted by massive rock formations rising hundreds of feet above the plains. The movie's vision is furthered by the beautiful cast and colorful, traditional African costumes.

The story, however, is difficult to follow or to care about, even for a man raised on Sunday School bible stories. I expected the movie to add life to a biblical text that sometimes seems distant and old, but I was disappointed. The actors seemed unable to fill the huge desert spaces, and the narrative was fragmented by flashbacks that were often long and difficult to connect to the main narrative.

Although I didn't end up liking the movie, it is still worth seeing. There are moments of splendor, humor, and humanity, and it is sometimes fascinating to experience the biblical stories sifted through the distinctive filter of African folklore. As with any movie, you'll have to be the final judge.

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