Synopsis by Mark Deming
Abderrahmane Sissako wrote and directed this offbeat, satiric comedy which imagines how the powers that be in the West might be forced to answer for the damage they've done in the Third World. Mele (Aissa Maiga) is an attractive Malian lounge singer married to Chaka (Tiecoura Traore), though their relationship is on the verge of collapse. In their eyes, the African continent isn't in much better shape than their marriage, and one day a makeshift courtroom appears in the courtyard near their shabby home. In the courtyard, a handful of powerful international organizations, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, are put on trial for their crippling effect on the African economy; as the evidence is presented which explains how these "friends" of Africa have saddled the nations with debts they can never repay, witnesses explain how these actions impact the daily lives of ordinary citizens, who pass through the trial as they go on with their days. Executive producer Danny Glover makes a cameo appearance in a "Cowboys and Indians" sequence which supposedly takes place in Timbuktu. Bamako (aka The Court) received its North American premiere at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival.
Africa, debt, singer, trial [courtroom], finances