Mali Film List

Title: GUIMBA THE TYRANT (1995)  
Format: DVD
Language: Bambara dialogue with English subtitles.
Run Time:  93 Min.
Description: "Guimba is a tyrant who rules over the town of Sitkali with an iron first. Using a combination of sorcery and cruelty, he terrorizes people into submission. His one weakness is his son, Janguine, a randy, perverse dwarf who spends his days satisfying every appetite. Janguine is betrothed to the beautiful Kani, but preferes her more voluptuous mother Meya. Guimba supports his son's obsession by exiling Meya's husband. It is a decision he will come to regret."
Genre: Drama

Title: GENESIS (1999)  
Format: DVD
Language: Bambara language; English subtitles.
Run Time:  102 Min.
Description: Power struggle between two families. Inspired by the story of Jacob and Esau in the book of Genesis.
Genre: Drama

Title: LIVING MEMORY: SIX SKETCHES OF MALI TODAY (2003)  
Format: VHS
Language: Narration in English; dialogue in French and other languages with English subtitles.
Run Time: 53 Min. 
Description: A documentary about Mali's ancient culture and the place of that culture in the modern country. The six sections are ritual arts, culture on display, style, architecture, contemporary artists and music.
Genre: Documentary

Title: YEELEN=BRIGHTNESS (1987)  
Format: DVD
Language: In 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: AIDS AND THE ARTS IN AFRICA (1999)  
Format: VHS
Run Time:  20 Min.
Description: "Aids and the Arts in Africa documents some of the remarkable work African popular artists are producing in the struggle against AIDS. Shot on location in 1999 in Mali and South Africa ... the video showcases such performing arts genres as drama, dance, puppetry and song. The piece also highlights the visual arts of mural and canvas painting."
Genre: Documentary

Title: JE CHANTERAI POUR TOI = I'LL SING FOR YOU (2001)  
Format: VHS
Language: French dialogue with English subtitles.
Run Time:  76 Min.
Description: Boubacar Traoré, a Malian blues musician who performed under the name KarKar, sang for independence in the 1960s but he had to leave music and become a tailor and salesman in order to provide for his family. This documentary looks at KarKar's life and his eventual return to contemporary Malian culture.
Genre: Documentary

Title: LA VIE SUR TERRE= LIFE ON EARTH (1999)  
Format: VHS
Language: In French and Bambara with English subtitles.
Run Time:  60 Min.
Description: A fictional documentary by the filmmaker which points out the significance of the start of the 21st century and our so-called Information Age while the people in Sokolo, his father's village in Mali, are still struggling to enter the 20th century.
Genre: Documentary

Title: RIVER NIGER, BLACK MOTHER (1996)  
Format: VHS
Language: In English and French and other local language with English voice-over.
Run Time:  44 Min.
Description: Traces the understanding route of the River Niger throughout West Africa; from its source in the Republic of Guinea to Nigeria, and discuss how this majestic waterway, as an essential communications and transport link, has molded the history and culture of the region. Features a dramatic presentation of the epic legend of Sundiata and the founding of the Empire of MJali, as well as indigenous music and song.
Genre: Drama

Title: TAAFE FANGA = POUVOIR DE PAGNE = SKIRT POWER (1995)  
Format: VHS
Language: In Dogon with English subtitles.
Run Time:  95 Min.
Description: A griot in present day Mali tells a story about women in an 18th century Dogon village. Fed up with male arrogance, one captures a powerful Albarga mask and terrorizes the men into assuming traditional women's roles. The humorous results convince everyone that women should be respected as complementary, yet equal, to men if society as a whole is to advance.
Genre: Drama

Title: FEMMES AUX YEUX OUVERTS= WOMEN WITH OPEN EYES (1993)
Format: VHS
Language: Chiefly in French with English subtitles.
Run Time: 54 Min. 41 Sec.
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: TAXI TO TIMBUKTU (1994)  
Format: VHS
Language: In English and French with English subtitles.
Run Time:  50 Min.
Description: A documentary about the drought-stricken Malian village of Batama and how the men of this village have gone abroad, to France, the United States, and even to Japan trying to find jobs and earn enough money to send home to their families.
Genre: Documentary

Title: RIVERS OF SAND (1991)  
Format: VHS
Language: In English, French and African languages with English subtitles.
Run Time:  50 Min.
Description: The Niger River brings life to the countries on the southern edge of the Sahara, known as Sahel. Timbuktu lies on the western edge of Sahel, where 25 million people face starvation. 1/3 of Mali's GNP consists of foreign aid. Because nomadic herders are losing their grazing land to the desert, plans are being made to divert Niger River water to this area to permit the growing of crops.
Genre: Documentary

Title: TA DONA (1991)  
Format: VHS
Language: Bambara dialog with English subtitles.
Run Time:  102 Min.
Description: Ta Dona is the story of the quest for secret knowledge by a young Bambara man. While working in a peasant village, the hero, Sidy, searches for the "seventh canari", a forgotten, secret Bambara herbal remedy used in childbirth. Faced with a scorching drought and a corrupt government, Sidy manages to save the village and rediscover the seventh canari.
Genre: Drama

Title: ROUCH IN REVERSE (1995)  
Format: VHS
Language: In English and French with English subtitles.
Run Time:  51 Min.
Description: The first film to look at European anthropology from the perspective of its subjects. Malian filmmaker and New York University professor, Manthia Diawara, examines the anthropological enterprise through the work of Jean Rouch, perhaps the most distinguished ethnographic filmmaker living today. The two discuss Rouch's work.
Genre: Documentary

Title: La chasse au lion à l’arc (1965)
Format: VHS
Language: Narration in English; title and credits in French
Run Time: 68 min.
Description: An ethnographical study of the Fulani herdsmen, nomads who live with their herds on the boundaries of Niger and Mali. The study describes a lion hunt by the Goa people, the lion hunters, asked by the Fulani to kill lions which have attacked their herds.
Genre: Documentary

Title: Malick Sidibé: portrait of the artist as a portraitist (2006)
Format: DVD
Language: In French with English subtitles
Run Time: 9 min.
Description: Looks at the work of a renowned African artist whose photographs have documented social and cultural changes in Mali over a 40-year period. In an interview, this self-taught photographer discusses his views of photography as a social art form and explains his documentary and portrait techniques.
Genre: Documentary

Title: Kabala (2002)
Format: VHS
Language: In Mandigo and Bambara with English subtitles.
Run Time: 107 min.
Description: "Magic spells lend a helping hand in this debut feature about a young man’s troubled relationship with his native village in Mali. Because of ancient prejudices, Hamalla was banished. He returns four years later versed in modern technology at a time the village’s future is precarious because the holy well of the ancestors, symbol of the spirituality of the entire community, is contaminated. In the face of epidemic, the villagers resist all of Hamalla’s attempts to convince them of the need to purify the water"
Genre: Drama

Title: The festival in the desert (2004)
Format: DVD
Language: In French ; with subtitles in English
Run Time: 64 min.
Description: The Festival in the Desert of Essakane 2003 was organised by the EFES Association with the help and support of the Malian Ministry of Sulture and in partnership with the Malian Ministry of Crafts and Tourism.
Genre: Documentary

Title: The cow jumped over the moon (1999)
Format: VHS
Run Time: 52 min.
Genre: Documentary