Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako
Written by Abderrahmane Sissako
Aissa Maiga as Mele
Maimouna Hélène Diarra as Saramba
Balla Habib Dembélé as Falaï
118 Minutes(Not Rated-Nothing Objectionable)
For lack of time, the following is just a minute long review. . .
"Bamako" has a message and a point, and it doesn't mind drilling it down the viewers throat in 118 long and painful minutes. I checked my watched multiple times here, and after the first ten minutes it was a fight to keep my eyes open. "Bamako" isn't entertaining in any way-and I don't even think it was supposed to be. Instead it is a long and comprehensive essay on social injustice in Africa, as well as economic difficulties. It isn't subtle at all, and at times I'm surprised it wasn't just two hours of the director telling us the message one on one. There is interesting stuff to hear in this, but it isn't something to watch on a Friday night. I should know. I did.
"Bamako" somewhat follows Mele, a singer at a club in Bamako, Africa, who lives with her husband who is out of work. The two of them are on the verge of a break up. In the center of their courtyard where they live, a trial has been set up which is the fight between African civil spokesmen and World Bank and IMF, who are being blamed for Africa's troubles. While the trial goes on, life goes on in the courtyard.
At times it seemed like characters in the film were as bored with the trial as I was. At one point one character even states "I'm getting sick and tired of this trial." By that time I was nodding my head in agreement. "Bamako" does present both sides to the issue, clearly stating that it isn't one sides fault nor the other. On both sides in the trial there are both black and white people repersenting the respective sides, and then allows the verdict to be up to us after a violent conclusion. But by this point I didn't care enough. "Bamako" is far too long and far too preachy for it's own good. This is a film to watch in a class and not on the big screen, and not even a Danny Glover cameo as a cowboy could save it. Interesting stuff, but very dull to watch.