In Honour of Africa
France, Mali, U.S.A. / 2006 / French, Bambara dialogue with English subtitles / Unknown / 35 mm / 118 minutes
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In the courtyard of a house in Mali, an unusual trial taking place. The plaintiff is African civil society, the defendants are the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the charge is that they are responsible for Africa's woes. Witnesses give evidence of the consequences of World Bank and IMF intervention in Africa, as the trial proceeds, we observe the breakdown of the marriage between Mele (aissa Maiga), a beautiful singer, and the unemployed, despondent Chaka (Tiecoura Traore). Their fates and those of the other people who go about their lives in the bustling courtyard, are inextricably linked to the trial. Bamako's images are invariably arresting, even though the camera rarely leaves the courtyard; when it does, Sissako treats us to a delightful pastiche of a Western shootout, which has a startling connection to the trial. This is an impassioned, intelligent and unforgettable film from one of Africa's most gifted directors.


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