Bamako Image

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: Set in the courtyard of house in Bamako, the capital city of Mali, this film features a mock trial between representatives of African society and international financial institutions. Alongside these very public political proceedings, the film offers an intimate glimpse of everyday life in contemporary Africa. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 100
    As demonstrated in his previous film, a plangent snapshot of subsistence called "Waiting for Happiness," Sissako is a poet, and the filmmaking in this new picture is stuff of a deserving laureate.
  2. One reason Bamako feels like a blast of sanity is that the theoretical debates about the state of the world, particularly Africa and more particularly Mali, are only half of its agenda. The other half, broadly speaking, is the life of everyday Africans.
  3. Sissako has an unusual camera eye, patient and alert to the ebb and flow of both the courtroom sequences and the outside scenes. The music is wonderful as well.
  4. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    Rather miraculously, picture succeeds in painlessly educating its viewers about global politics and economics while it describes contemporary Africa with freshness and clarity.
  5. Bamako, with Sissako's poetic blend of the humdrum and the theoretical, is altogether fascinating. Dramatic features born and bred on the African continent are rare commodities on these shores, and the opportunities they offer can stretch far beyond film appreciation and into the realm of world understanding.
  6. 75
    Credit Sissako for entertainingly blending serious international issues with the daily comings and goings of village life. A bit more Glover wouldn't have hurt - but you can't have everything.
  7. 58
    The film feels oddly slack and inert, livened only by testimony better suited to another forum.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. ChristosT.
    Mar 4, 2007
    Four friends went to see this film together. Two walked out after twenty minutes because they had a bit too much to rink. The two of us that stayed thought it was sublime. This is a courtroom drama that is cinematic rather than theatrical, and for that reason probably "difficult" for my generation, raised on Law and Order Sexual Titillation Unit. It is also probing, intelligent, moving, confronting and formally exhilarating. Expand
  2. AndrewB.
    Mar 10, 2007
    Way too much filler. Too many scenes of people doing laundry and walking around. I did really appreciate the moments when they focused on the courtroom arguments. For me, that was the only really important part of this movie. The rest of it was repetititve, dull, and almost provocatively boring. I would have rather just seen the courtroom action and hear the arguments summed up in about half an hour. The rest was slow torture. Expand
  3. KenG
    Mar 15, 2007
    Movie has something worthwhile to say, but it says it in a way that is tedious. This only comes to life a couple of times, late in the movie, with a cuple of passionate speeches. The message and lessons of this movie, probably could have been better served in a doctumentary. Expand