5 user 6 critic

Life on Earth (1998)

La vie sur terre (original title)
In the last days of 1999, after a few shots of a French supermarket, abundant in food and color, we hear Dramane compose a letter home to his father in Mali whom he then visits in the ... See full summary »
10 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Abderrahmane Sissako ... Dramane
Nana Baby Nana Baby ... La jeune fille
Mohamed Sissako Mohamed Sissako ... Le Pére
Bourama Coulibaly Bourama Coulibaly ... Le Photographe
Keita Bina Gaousso Keita Bina Gaousso ... Le receveur Poste
Mahamadou Dramé Mahamadou Dramé ... L'Opérateur Poste
Moussa Fofana Moussa Fofana ... L'invité radio
Keita Kagny Keita Kagny ... L'ami du photographe
Madlaye Traoré Madlaye Traoré ... Le Coiffeur
Solo Diarra Solo Diarra ... Le Client
Fodia Coulibaly Fodia Coulibaly ... Le Tailleur
Madou Mariko Madou Mariko ... Le Journaliste radio
Lassina Kané Lassina Kané ... L'ingénieur son radio
Mahamane Maiiga Mahamane Maiiga ... Le deuoéme Jouranliste de la Bibliothéque Pariée
Cheykh Bouya Ould Yarba Cheykh Bouya Ould Yarba ... Les Clients Poste


In the last days of 1999, after a few shots of a French supermarket, abundant in food and color, we hear Dramane compose a letter home to his father in Mali whom he then visits in the village of Sokolo. He meets the lovely Nana, and there are possibilities. People place long-distance calls from the post office. "Reaching people," says the postmaster, "is a matter of luck." Contrasts between Paris and Sokolo - between Mali and France and between Africa and Europe - are underscored by voice-over poems and comments by Aimé Césaire. A man dictates a letter to a brother in France: what is the nature of their hardships? People look for their place on this earth. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Did You Know?


Abderrahmane Sissako's directorial film debut. See more »

User Reviews

Political and Sensitive, Heavy and Light. A Souffle.
13 December 1999 | by rdm911See all my reviews

I would disagree with anyone that thought this film is not held together by anything...thematic connections can be just as strong (and certainly more meaningful than) as those of a plot driven film. In this film the western hype surrounding the millenium is used as a contrast to the static of west africa. on the brink of the 21c it is sobering (but also joyful in its vitality) to see the reality of most of the worlds population. As we begin to feel we have discovered so much and advanced so far it is then that mans work really begins to improve social systems...to politically empower on the micro level... it is all there in the radio station, the poor farmer waiting for the government man to come and do something about the birds that eat the wheat in the fields but which they are not allowed to kill, the parade of people using the postoffice phone all rendered equal (including the military) by the fact that no one can be contacted by phone.... this all may sound very heavy but it is actually very light, full of mirth and colour.

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Mali | Mauritania | France


French | Bambara

Release Date:

9 June 1999 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Life on Earth See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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