Bamako. 2006. Mali. Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako

Abderrahmane Sissako

June 26–July 2, 2009 The Museum of Modern Art

Abderrahmane Sissako (b. 1961, Kiffa, Mauritania) was raised in his father’s homeland of Mali; in 1980 he rejoined his mother in Nouakchott, Mauritania. A scholarship to study Russian literature enabled him to attend the Institute of the University of Moscow and later to enroll in Moscow’s Institute for Cinema (VGIK), where he studied from 1983 to 1989. His desire to become a filmmaker stemmed from early childhood experiences—his separation from his half brother and Malian childhood friends, and the loss of his original Bambara language. His first short film, Le Jeu (1990), presented as a graduation assignment and poorly received by a school jury, eventually went on to receive great acclaim. Sissako settled in France and continued to pursue filmmaking, working in a complex philosophical style that combines personal essay, autobiography, allegory, and drama to explore identity, displacement, and the cultural and economic effects of colonialism in contemporary Africa. This program is presented in collaboration with the 2009 Robert Flaherty Seminar, entitled Witnesses, Monuments, Ruins, which explores the act of bearing witness—bringing memory, experience, and history into the present. All films are directed by Abderrahmane Sissako unless otherwise noted.

Organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, with Irina Leimbacher, independent curator, and Mary Kerr, Executive Director, The Robert Flaherty Seminars.

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.