Burkina Faso Film List

Title: Daresalam (2005)
Format: VHS
Language: Arabic and French with English subtitles.
Run Time: 100 min.
Description: This feature film focuses on two young men caught up in the Civil War in Chad. It begins in the 1970s with the story of Koni and Djimi as the central government invades their village and insists on buying the farmer's millet at below market and then browbeats the villagers into paying taxes to help fight the war. When they resist the government burns the village and massacres the inhabitants. Djimi, wounded, remains behind with the hard-liners, while Koni joins a faction which supports compromise with the government.
Genre: Drama

Title: Guimba: un tyran, une époque (1995)
Format: VHS
Language: Bambara and Peul with English subtitles.
Run Time: 95 min.
Description: An epic set in the legendary past of Mali ( West Africa) to provide a biting allegory of present-day African politics. Through the story of the downfall of Guimba the tyrant, the filmmaker foretells a similar fate for the many dictators who still pillage the continent. He frames his film with the appearance of a griot, a traditional African storyteller who passes down the "wisdom of the ancestors", looking to the values and legends of the African past for inspiration and guidance in reconstructing well-governed, self-sufficient nations.
Genre: Drama

Title: Tambours et djembés du Burkina Faso = Drums and djembes of Burkina Faso  (2003)
Format: DVD; double sided (NTSC and PAL).
Language: French and English soundtracks; German subtitles.
Run Time: 26 min.
Description: Discusses the function of the drum in the culture of Burkina Faso, as both a sacred and a modern instrument.
Genre: Documentary

Title: Masks of Burkina Faso (2003)
Format: DVD
Language: English
Run Time: 60 Min.
Description: Many peoples of Burkina Faso continue to create elaborate and beautiful masks that are used in funerals, initiations, village purification ceremonies,and market day dances as they have been for centuries. These masks are almost indistinguishable from the great masterpieces of African art that have been displayed in museums and illustrated in texts for decades. This DVD includes three videos: the first, shot on film in 1977 and 1985, inlcudes historic footage of masks from the Mossi, Bwa, Bobo, and Nuna (Gurunsi) peoples. Two videos were shot on digital video of the 2002 mask festival in Dedougou, and of Nuna masks in Savara and Tisse.
Genre: Documentary

Title: A day in the life of a village in Africa (2002)
Format: DVD
Language: English
Run Time: 60 min.
Description: includes scenes of food preparation, building a house, children in school, spinning thread, weaving, making pottery, forging iron, mask performances, a traditional funeral, sand divination, balafon music, and much more. 
Genre: Documentary

Title: African Weaving (2003)
Format: DVD
Language: English
Run Time: 25 Min.
Description: Africans continue to create elaborate and beautiful textiles that reflect their rich cultural heritage. The kente weavers of the Asante and Ewe people of Ghana are featured in this video which was filmed in 2002 by Christopher Roy, Professor of African art at the University of Iowa. The video begins with a Senufo woman in a small village in Burkina Faso who spins cotton into thread using a drop spindle. There are scenes of traditional dyers dying cloth dark blue with indigo, and of a workshop of weavers in Ouagadoougou who produce hundreds of yards of beautiful cloth each day. The focus of the remainder of the film is on the techniques of the Asante and Ewe weavers of Ghana, who produce beautiful kente cloth. The complex techniques are explained in the narrative, and the many parts of the loom are described.
Genre: Documentary

Title: Yeelen (1987)
Format: DVD
Language: Bambara with English subtitles.
Run Time: 105 Min.
Description: Film adaptation of one of the great oral epics of West African folklore and of the Bambara people. Set in the 13th century, time of the powerful Mali Empire, the story tells of young Nianankoro, destined to destroy a corrupt older society, the secret Komo cult, with it his father, and, finally, himself. The flash of light which ends the film ushers in a new, purified world order and captures the Bambara belief in time as circular, not linear--always returning to that initial brightness which created the world.
Genre: Drama

Title: Africa, Africas (2001)
Format: VHS
Language: Fantacocà: African dialect with English subtitles.
Run Time: 62 min.
Description: Fantacocà: presents the cultural phenomenon of skin bleaching in Cameroon and the challenge it is now posing on notions of black pride and identity. From the other side of the river: documents the effects of war on a community of Ethiopian women and children who were forcibly relocated into refugee camps. Laafi bala: demonstrates the causes of wide-spread unemployment and poverty in Burkina Faso, where few institutional resources and government support available, and the debilitating effects this is having on women and youth.
Genre: Documentary

Title: Red hat, where are you going?  (2000)
Format: VHS
Language: Closed-captioned for the hearing impaired.
Run Time: 47 min.
Description: An analysis of the socio-political position of traditional chiefs in Burkina Faso, Red hat, where are you going? examines the role of Mossi chiefs in the West African nation. Using interviews with chiefs and their critics, and archival footage, the film looks at how the chiefs have navigated political change, and at how they interact with both the government and people today.
Genre: Documentary

Title: Keïta!: l’héritage du griot = The heritage of the griot Keïta!  (1995)
Format: VHS
Language: In Jula and French with English subtitles.
Run Time: 94 min.
Description: Based on an important work of African oral literature, the Sundjata epic. When a djéliba, a master griot or bard, arrives mysteriously at the home of Mabo Keïta to teach him "the meaning of his name," the boy and griot are inevitably brought into conflict with his Westernized mother and schoolteacher, who have rejected African tradition. The griot reveals to Mabo the story of his distant ancestor, Sundjata Keïta, the 13th century founder of the great Malian trading empire.
Genre: Drama

Title: Tilaï (1990).
Format: VHS
Language: In Mooré with English subtitles.
Run Time: 81 min.
Description: After a long absence, Saga returns to his village to find that his young fiancée, Nogma, has been married off to his father. Saga has no recourse within the code of honor that governs his tribe, but begins a secret affair with Nogma.
Genre: Drama

Title: Femmes aux yeux ouverts = Women with open eyes Women with open eyes (1993)
Format: VHS
Language: French with English subtitles.
Run Time: 51 min.
Description: Presents contemporary African women in four West African countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Benin. We meet a woman active in the movement against female genital mutilation, a health care worker educating women about sexually transmitted diseases, and businesswomen who describe how they have set up an association to share expertise and provide mutual assistance.
Genre: Documentary

Title: SANKOFA (1993)
Format: VHS
Language: English
Run Time:  125 min.
Description: Sankofa, an Akan word meaning, "one must return to the past in order to move forward," is the story about the transformation of a self-possessed African-American woman sent on a spiritual journey in time to experience the pain of slavery and the discovery of her African identity.
Genre: Drama

Title: WÊND KÛUNI = Le don de Dieu (1982) 
Format: VHS
Language: Dialogue in Môre (Mossi), with English subtitles.
Run Time:  70 min.
Description: A mute boy is found abandoned and raised in an African village by a weaver. The mute regains his powers of speech only after a shock, then reveals his origins and reasons for dumbness.
Genre: Drama

Title: The dance of the spirits: mask styles and performance in the Upper Volta (1988)
Format: DVD
Language: English
Run Time:  28 Min.
Description: This film shows African masks from the country of Burkina Faso in west africa in their context as used in ritual dances.
Genre: Documentary

Title: Yaaba Soore: THE PATH OF THE ANCESTORS (1988)
Format: VHS
Language: English
Run Time:  17 min.
Description: An investigation of the ways in which masks are used by the peoples of Burkina Faso in death rituals and controlling spirits. Examines the Mossi, Nuna, Bwa and other people in this Upper Volta region.
Genre: Documentary

Title: A WEEK OF SWEET WATER (1985)
Format: VHS
Language: Segments in local language with English subtitles.
Run Time:  28 min.
Description: Examines a Mossi community in Burkina Faso and centers on two themes: the impact of drought and famine in the Sahel, and the tension between old institutions and newer ideas regarding the initiation of young girls.
Genre: Documentary

Title: ZAN BOKO (1988)  
Format: VHS
Language: In Moré and French with English subtitles.
Run Time:  94 min.
Description: A rural family's world is brutally disrupted when their ancestral village is absorbed by the expanding boundaries of their country's largest city. A crusading journalist takes up their cases against the powerful interests whose policies overwhelm traditional African society.
Genre: Drama

Title: African art in motion: the masks of the Nuna people of Burkina Faso (2005)
Format: DVD
Language: English
Run Time: 90 min.
Description: Shows three mask performances from the Nuna people of Burkina Faso in West Africa. Two segments are from the villages of Savara and Tisse, and one is of the annual mask festival at Pouni. Masks include butterfly, crocodile, hyena, bush pig, antelope, policeman, and more. Each mask’s performance recreates the encounters between the ancestors of the village and the supernatural spirits that protect the community.
Genre: Documentary

Title: Art as a verb in Africa: the masks of the Bwa village of Boni (2005)
Format: DVD
Language: English
Run time: 90 min.
Description: The spectacular mask performances of the Bwa people in the village of Boni, in central Burkina Faso, include plank masks, hawks, lepers, dwarfs, serpents, and other spiritual beings.
Genre: Documentary

Title: Moolaadé (2004)
Format: VHS
Language: In Dyula and French with English subtitles
Run time: 124 min.
Description: Some of the women in an African village decide that they will no longer allow their young daughters to be subjected to traditional "purification", or female circumcisiom, which has brought pain and death to many girls over the years. This rouses the men and women in the village who intend to force continuation of the custom and violent confrontation results.
Genre: Drama

Title: Kounandi (2003)
Format: VHS, letterboxed
Language: In Jula with English subtitles
Run Time: 50
Description: Kounandi, a young beauty often scorned and overlooked because of her dwarfism, earns her living and finds village favor making delicious cup cakes. Kounandi falls in love with Karim only to discover that he is married to Awa who is dying. Kounandi mystically sacrifices her lifeforce (and cup cake pan) as a gift to the couple.
Genre: Drama