"African Perspectives" Windhoek: Baara– The Porter by Souleymane Cissé, 28 May 2011, 19h
In the framework of the monthly filmseries “African Perspectives”, AfricAvenir Windhoek presents the movie “Baara– The Porter” on Saturday, 28 May 2011, 19h00 at Studio 77, Old Breweries Complex, entrance via Garten Str., Entrance: 20,- N$. In cooperation with Studio 77, Bank Windhoek Arts Festival, WhatsOnWindhoek, and the FNCC.
“Baara– The Porter”
By Souleymane Cissé
Orig. (Bambara) with English subtitles, 90 min.
A short interview with Souleymane Cissé will be screened before the film.
Date: 28 May 2011
Venue: Studio 77, Old Breweries Complex, entrance via Garten Str.
Entrance: 20,- N$
Special guest: Marius Kudumo, former trade unionist, and currently Secretary General of the Namibia National Commission for UNESCO
About the film
The film grapples with the greed and corruption of the business elite and highlights the emerging social awareness of workers and women.
A young Malian country boy works as a baara, a porter in Bamako. One day he makes friends with a young engineer, Balla Traoré, who takes him under his wing and help him out in trouble with the police and finds him a job in the factory.
Balla, who studied in Europe, tries to apply his liberal ideas in the factory. He takes on the union under the factories owner's control, and enters into conflict with the factory management. He decries the economic exploitation in the textile factory he supervises and the corruption of his manager who will eventually have him murdered.
Baara is very much a film of its time. Its portrait of the new, Western-educated managerial class vacillating between "selling out" and adhering to their ideals; the new bourgeoisie; the 70s clothing; the new office buildings and factories built on a growing mountain of debt; the new proletarian class of factory workers; shifting domestic relations—give us a snapshot of a particular moment and social dynamic.
The first great African movie dealing with the proletarian class, Baara is the most Marxist of Cissé's movies, both in its liberal form and its topics.
1979 : Etalon de Yennenga, FESPACO
1978 : Tanit d'argent, Journees cinematogrpahiques de Carthage
1979 : Grand prix des Trois Continents, Nantes
1978 : Grand prix de la meilleure photographie, Festival International du Film de Locarno
The 1940 born Souleymane Cissé is a Malian filmmaker and was, next to Ousmane Sembene, the most recognized African filmmaker of the twentieth century.
During his adolescence he lived in Dakar, Senegal. After his return to Mali in 1960 from secondary studies in Dakar, his passion for films developed into his life vocation. He obtained a scholarship and went to the VGIK in Moscow (State Institute of Cinema) where he was a projectionist before pursuing film-making.
In 1970, he became a camera operator for the Malian Ministry of Information. Two years later, he directed Five Days in a Life, which received a prize at the Carthage Film Festival. Two of his movies Baara (Work) and Finyé (The Wind) received the Etalon de Yenenga prize at FESPACO. Yeelen (Light) and its 1987 Cannes Jury Award revealed Souleymane Cissé to the main audience.
A dedicated film-maker, Souleymane Cissé is the President of the Union of West African Cinema and Audiovisual Designers and Entrepreneurs (UCECAO). In recognition of his work, he was made a Commandeur de l'Ordre National of Mali in 2006 and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres of France.
His latest film, Min Ye premiered at Cannes 2009.