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    An Evening with Abderhamane Sissako

    Presented by at Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

    April 20, 2009


    An Evening with Abderhamane Sissako

    Director Abderrahmane Sissako in person for a screening of the film Bamako Abderrahmane Sissako last visited the Harvard Film Archive in 1999, as that year's recipient of the Genevieve McMillan and Reba Stewart Fellowship for Distinguished Filmmaking. In the past decade, he has continued making films that meditate on Africa's position in a globalized world. Returning to Cambridge as a guest of MIT, Sissako will appear at the HFA with a screening of his latest feature. Bamako marks a departure from Sissako's recent work, turning away from the film-essay of Life on Earth (1998) and the observational style of Waiting for Happiness (2002) to instead fuse modernist aesthetics with populist elements from any number of genres. The film's Brechtian centerpiece is a trial, held in the Malian capital of Bamako, whose defendant is Western capitalism itself, facing charges that it has forcibly kept a decolonized Africa impoverished and oppressed. Alternating between the monologues that make up the testimony and a series of episodes from the daily life that continues around the trial-and sometimes interrupts (or even undermines) the proceedings-Sissako continues to explore the intertwining of public and private, global and local, modern and traditional so central to his earlier films, although now with a broader palate of tones than before, ranging from the farcical to the ironic and from to the satirical to the quietly tragic. Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako. Diarra Mali 2006, 35mm, color, 115 min. French and Bambara with English subtitles

    Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

    24 Quincy Street, Harvard University
    Cambridge, MA 02138

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