Guimba, the Tyrant

  • Guimba - un tyran, une époque
Genre : Historical
Type : Fiction
Original title : Nidiougou Guimba
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv, History/society
Year of production : 2004
Format : Feature
Running time : 94 (in minutes)

Sitakili, a Sahara desert town, lives under the dictatorship of one man, Guimba Dunbaya, and his son Janguine. Kani Coulibaly has been engaged to Janguine since birth. Now a beautiful young woman, many are those who would court her. Yet no suitor dares come out in the open, such is Guimba's reign of terror. During a courtesy visit to Kani, Janguine falls for Meya, his fiancée's mother, and wants to marry her. To satisfy his son's whim, Guimba banishes Mambi, Meya's husband. Mabi takes refuge in a village of hunters and organises an uprising against the tyrant…

"History, like the wind, never stops". This sentence quoted from Keïta, could just as well apply to Guimba, by Malian filmmaker Cheick Oumar Sissoko. Once again, it is the griot who is entrusted with sketching a portrait of the all-powerful tyrant Guimba. This metaphor is of course reminiscent of the story of General Moussa Traoré, the Malian dictator who was overthrown in 1991 and who also consulted the greatest witchdoctors in the country. "We are today at the crossroads between two Africas," says Cheick Oumar Sissoko, "the Africa of the tyrants is not yet dead and the democracies of Africa are experiencing the greatest problems in establishing themselves". Filmed in Djenné, itself a legendary cultural and commercial crossroads, Guimba is a rich spectacle combining the different languages of the many ethnic groups (Bambara, Peul, Wolof, Soninké) in a beautiful setting with sumptuous costumes.

1995, Mali

Cast: Falaba issa Traoré, Bala Moussa Keïta, Habib Dembele, Lamine Diallo,, Mouneissa Maiga, Hélène Diarra

Director: Cheick Oumar Sissoko
Screenplay: Cheick Oumar Sissoko
Running time: 93'

35 mm - Feature Film - Colour

Director of Photography: Lionel Cousin
Editing: Kahena Attia, Joëlle Dufour, Clémence Bielov
Sound: Martin Boisseau, Joël Rangon
Music: Pierre Sauvageot, MichelRisse
Set Design and Props: Baba Keïta, Boubacar Doumbia
Costumes: Kandjoura Coulibaly
Producers: Kora Films, Les Films de la Plaine, Centre National de Production Cinématographie du Mali, Direction de la Production Cinématographique du Burkina Faso, WDR (Cologne)
avec la participation de l'Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique (ACCT), Fonds Hubert Bals (Rotterdam)


Sitakili - eine Stadt in der Sahelzone - steht unter der tyrannischen Herrschaft von Guimba Sunbuya. Bei ihrer Geburt wurde Kani an Guimbas Sohn Janguiné versprochen. Doch als Janguiné ihr einen Höflichkeitsbesuch abstattet, verliebt er sich in ihre Mutter Meya und beschliesst, sie an Kanis Stelle zu heiraten. Um den Wunsch seines Sohnes zu erfüllen, schickt Guimba Meyas Ehemann, Mambi, ins Exil. Dieser flüchtet sich in ein Dorf von Jägern, von wo aus er eine Revolte gegen den Tyrannen anzettelt.

Mali, Burkina Faso, Deutschland · 1995 · 35 mm · Color · 94' · French/Peul/Bambara

Cheick Oumar Sissoko

Fatoumata Coulibaly, Habibou Dembélé, Lamine Diallo, Maimouna Hélène Diarra, Balla Moussa Keita, Cheick Oumar Maiga

Lionel Cousin

Michel Risse, Pierre Sauvageot

Kandjoura Coulbaly

Cheick Oumar Sissoko

Martin Boissau, Joël Rangon

Kahéna Attia, Joëlle Dufour

Centre National de la Cinématographie du Mali
Kora Films

Cinémathèque Afrique (Institut Français)

Source: Locarno 2012


La città di Sitakili, nel deserto del Sahel, è governata dal tirannico Guimba Sunbuya. Quando è nata, Kani è stata promessa in sposa a Janguiné, il figlio di Guimba. In occasione di una visita di cortesia, però, il giovane si innamora della madre di Kani, Meya, e decide di sposarla. Per soddisfare il desiderio del figlio, Guimba manda in esilio il marito di Meya, Mambi. Questi si rifugia in un villaggio di cacciatori, dove organizzerà una ribellione per spodestare il tiranno.

Mali, Burkina Faso, Germania · 1995 · 35 mm · Colore · 94' · v.o. francese/peul/bambara

Cheick Oumar Sissoko

Fatoumata Coulibaly, Habibou Dembele, Lamine Diallo, Maimouna Hélène Diarra, Balla Moussa Keita, Cheick Oumar Maiga

Lionel Cousin

Michel Risse, Pierre Sauvageot

Kandjoura Coulbaly

Cheick Oumar Sissoko

Martin Boissau, Joël Rangon

Kahéna Attia, Joëlle Dufour

Centre National de la Cinématographie du Mali
Kora Films

Diritti mondiali
Cinémathèque Afrique (Institut Français)

Source: Locarno 2012



Sitakili, uma cidade do Sahel, vive sob a dominação de um homem, Guimba Dunbaya e seu filho Janguiné. Kani Coulibaly é noiva de Janguiné desde que nasceu. Ela é agora uma bela moça, muito cortejada, mas nenhum pretendente ousa declarar-se, de tão grande o terror imposto por Guimba. Durante uma visita de cortesia a Kani, Janguiné apaixona-se por Meya, a mãe de sua noiva, e quer casa com ela. Para satisfazer o capricho do filho, Guimba expulsa Mambi, marido de Meya. Este refugia-se em uma aldeia de caçadores e organiza a revolta contra o tirano. 93′

Mali/França/Alemanha, 1985

Direção: Cheik Omar Sissoko

Grand prize, FESPACO 1995

2014 | VII Encontro de Cinema Negro Brasil África e Caribe Zózimo Bulbul, Brazil
* Screening - CINE ODEON: 22/03 - 13H30


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  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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