“This film, beautiful, disquieting and sad, is unique and profound.” —CineFilms
In the late 1990s, Arte French television created a series on the millennium with films shot all over the world, and Abderrahmane Sissako’s entry—Life on Earth—featured Africa. Starting from the packaged excess of European consumption in a basement department store in Paris, the film ascends into the light of Sokolo, a rice-growing village in Mali and home to Sissako’s father. This gorgeous essay about the connections and disconnects between Africa and Europe shows the village’s genuine beauty and contemporaneity without sentimentalizing poverty and suffering, as the boundary between fiction and documentary seems to disappear. 1998, 35mm, in French and Bambara with English subtitles, 61 minutes.
After a decade of film school in Russia, Mauritanian director Sissako brought his first feature, October, directly to the Cannes Film Festival. An African student must leave the Soviet Union and say goodbye to his Russian girlfriend, who must deal with the serious questions he has left behind. 1993, video, in Russian with English subtitles, 37 minutes.
Meet the Filmmaker
This screening is introduced by Abderrahmane Sissako. Join the director for a post-screening discussion led by Linda Mokdad of St. Olaf College.