In the Mali capital of Bamako, an outdoor trial is taking place in a dusty courtyard. Major financial institutions, the World Bank and the IMF, stand accused by local citizens eloquently protesting against policies on debt, trade and privatisation that have ravaged the African continent and stripped it of wealth. Broadcast over loudspeakers, the trial registers with some surrounding residents more than others while aspects of their lives – a marriage break-up, a serious illness and a TV movie – are all poignantly used as counterpoint to the legal proceedings. From Sissako, director of the recently acclaimed Timbuktu, this is a unique, elusive and commanding political work.
This screening is part of Anger is an Energy: Cinema of Protest, our season throughout August that features films – from a range of time periods and national cultures – that examine how some of cinema’s most creative and daring directors have tackled and responded to sociopolitical dissent.