“His films are a revolution against injustice”… Who is the director, Suleiman Cisse, who won the “Golden Cart” award?

“His films are a revolution against injustice”… Who is the director, Suleiman Cisse, who won the “Golden Cart” award?
“His films are a revolution against injustice”… Who is the director, Suleiman Cisse, who won the “Golden Cart” award?

“All of my films carry a revolution against injustice.” This is how well-known financial director Suleiman Cisse, 82, sums up his career cinematic The exciting and rich, spanning more than fifty years, as his artistic resistance to injustice and injustice, made of it a thin thread, linking the sum of his works.

He told the audience of the “Directors Half Month” in Cannes, who came to watch his movie The distinguished “The Little Girl”, which is a unique work that he directed in 1975 and presented in an exceptional show before talking about his experience and honoring him, “I abhor injustice, and wherever it is found, one must rise up against it.” Within the framework of the program for this category, films that have been selected will be shown for their “exceptional discourse,” which “embodies the spirit of resistance to all forms of ideology and dominant discourse,” according to the organizer.

The choice of the French Directors’ Syndicate, which oversees the organization of the “Directors’ Half Month,” for Sisih to award him the “Golden Cart”, is really justified, given that he is a cinematic figure, usually seen as the seventh art icon in Africa, that has been able to make a name for it at the global level in Not easy conditions.

It also comes among the reasons for this choice, his unique style that is taught in a group of film institutes for an experienced director, who actually possesses the tools of cinematic creativity at all levels, which imbues his works with a special spirit, which we only see in the works of senior directors. In it, he usually relies on “mixing poetry, politics, social criticism, and myths…”.

Suleiman Cisse was born in Bamako, Mali, before moving with his family to Dakar, where he grew up, and some media consider him a Senegalese mistake. He returned to Mali in 1960. His love for cinema was born in Dakar, before moving in 1963 to Moscow to study cinema at the hands of one of the great Soviet directors at the time, Mark Donskoy.

He became famous, especially between 1975 and 1987, thanks to four films that culminated in the film “Yalin” “The Light”, which won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Festival in the same year. He is the second African director to win the “Golden Cart” award after Senegalese Sambine Othman in 2005, to whom a documentary titled “O Othman” was dedicated, as the latter is also one of the pioneers of African cinema, and this work is considered a real and symbolic memory of one of the important names in the radiation of the continent’s cinema across the world.

“little girl”

In honor of Cisse, his film “The Little Girl” was chosen to be screened in front of the audience of the “Directors’ Half Month,” despite its age, as its production dates back more than forty years. But all these years that have passed, he has not lost anything of his cinematic value, not even thematic or thematic.

The film deals with the pregnancy of unmarried girls and their suffering within their families. He tells the story in a dramatic form, accompanied by poetic images and musical and lyrical passages drawn from the local heritage. And the idea of ​​​​the film was born from within his family, as his niece fell into this tragic situation for any girl in the brown continent.

Malian director Slimane Cissé discusses his cinematic experience in front of the “Directors’ Half Month” audience at the Cannes Film Festival © Benjamin Dodman, France 24

The first difficulty the director faced was finding actors who could adopt the idea of ​​the film and assume the roles required for it on the big screen. It took three months to search for an actress to play this role. And in order to obtain a license to film it, he had to pass through a government association, and upon its release, the same association claimed that it had taken over its production, which Cisse denies at all, stressing that it did not pay even a single cent in the film.

Against the backdrop of this conflict, he was placed in detention for a year before being released by the decision of the then president of the country, Moussa Traoré. The movie gained great popularity after it was banned for three years.

the story of the movie

The work tells the story of a girl from a wealthy financial family, who was led by circumstances to meet a young man from a poor family, who was working in her father’s factory earlier. In the midst of it, the girl “Tinan” will be raped before she becomes a prey in the hands of her rapist. and bear it.

This pregnancy turned her family upside down. Her mother exploded in anger in her face before telling the news to her husband, who decided to get rid of this “disgrace” that his daughter had inflicted on his family. And he tried to do everything for this, with the help of his family members, but he did not always find support from them, and some rejected his plans.

The father died of heartbreak over this situation. The mother remained in conflict with the rapist before the authorities to at least recognize his paternity of the fetus in her daughter’s womb. But he still refused, and only changed his mind under pressure from the authorities. Sorrows preyed on the “little girl Tynan”, which the director preferred to present silently, without saying a word throughout the film.

With his cinematic poetry, the director presented the suffering of this girl in many images, despite the absence of words. You can read many things from her looks and her movements. After she was having fun as a little girl in the spaciousness of her parents’ big house and outside with her friends, she turned into a bomb on the verge of exploding at any moment, the flames of anger flying from her looks.

This is what actually happened. She went to the house of her rapist, who was on his bed in a cane’s house with another girl. And she found no choice but to take revenge on him by setting fire to a criminal act, which she was never able to do, ending the life of those who were inside the hut, before she put an end to her life by taking a box of medicines.

Maghreb participation in the 76th edition of the Cannes Festival

Representation of African cinema

African cinema is represented in this official competition of the festival by two directors, whom festival director Thierry Frémaux considers to be the spearhead of “the new generation of filmmakers on the continent.” The matter concerns the Tunisian Kawthar Ben Haniyeh, who participates in the official competition with “Banat Intimacy”, and tells the story of a mother’s suffering with her daughters who were drawn towards extremism. Then Senegalese Ramata Tulay C With her emotional movie “Penil and Adama”.

This presence of African cinema in the official race for the international film festival is interpreted as recognition of the efforts it makes to develop itself and compete with its counterparts in major events, despite the lack of capabilities, noting that it won only one Golden Palm in 1975 thanks to the film Chronicle of the Years of Embers Directed by Algerian Mohamed Lakhdar Hamina.

In addition to participating in the official competition, the continent is also represented in parallel competitions across a number of Maghreb countries: such as Morocco, Sudan, Cameroon, Algeria, Egypt, and Tunisia.

Despite this rich and long experience in cinema, the Malian director still has ambitions to one day see African cinema in a better position. “You get out of the bottle and travel far to places where people wouldn’t think of seeing films from our continent.”

Cisse denounces what he calls the continued “contempt” and reluctance to distribute African films in the West. As a result of this reality, “we do not yet exist together as equals. This is wrong, because cinema is a means that brings us to others.”

Boualem Ghobchi, delegate of France 24 to Cannes