Life on Earth

  • Vie sur terre (La)
Genre : Drama
Type : Docu-drama
Original title : Vita sulla terra (La) [Italy]
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 1998
Format : Feature
Running time : 61 (in minutes)

The director, made as a commission, explores the last day of the twentieth century. On the eve of the year 2000, Dramane (played by Sissako) returns from France to the village of Sokolo, his father's home in Mali. As he bicycles through the village and into the fields, he meets Nana, a beautiful young girl on her own journey. A playful relationship grows between them as, back in the village, life goes on as the new millennium arrives.

This film had its roots in ARTE French/German television series entitled 2000 Vue Par (The Year 2000 Seen By...), for which ten exemplary international directors were asked to imagine the last day of the new millennium in their own countries. Sissako chose to do something unique. He imagined himself going back to his father's village in Mali for the new year, in a fictional documentary laced with the poetry of Aimé Césaire and the music of Salif Keïta. In so doing, he has created a deceptively simple film, which is in fact an ambiguous meditation upon the fate of Africa in this century and the next.

Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako.

1998. Mali/Mauritania, Feature narrative, 35 mm - Docu-Fiction - Colour, In Bambara, French; English subtitles. 61 min.

First feature-length drama

Sissako creates a fictional documentary about daily life in Sokolo. The New York Times calls it, "a movie of uncommon grace and delicacy... a compelling lament for a beloved country impoverished by colonialism and stranded in time.".

Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Screenplay: Abderrahmane Sissako
Director of Photography: Jacques Besse
Editing: Nadia Ben Rachid
Sound: Pascal Armant
Music: Salif Keïta, Anouar Brahem, Balafons et Tambours d'Afrique

Producers: La Sept ARTE, Haut et Court
Support: Centre National de la Cinématographie, PROCIREP

Cast: Abderrahmane Sissako, Nana Baby, Mohamed Sissako, Bourama Coulibaly

2009 | MoMA, New York, Usa
* Screening (+ "Sabriya", short)

1999 | FESPACO, Burkina Faso
* Special Mention of the jury


Alla veglia dell'anno 2000, il regista torna nel villaggio del padre, Sokolo, poche case sper¬dute nel cuore della savana del Mali. Il pas¬saggio al nuovo secolo avviene senza grandi cambiamenti in questi luoghi dove il tempo sembra essersi fermato. Le eco della festa di fine secolo arrivano attraverso la radio che insieme al telefono è l'unica apertura verso l'esterno. Sissako arriva dunque al villaggio, inforca una bicicletta e comincia ad errare per le strade, nei campi… Tra documentario e fiction, il film è l'occasione per il regista di una profonda riflessione sull'isolamento del¬l'Africa lasciata ai confini del Inondo.

LA VIE SUR TERRE (La vita sulla terra)
Mali/Francia, 1998 - 61'
Regia: Abderrahmane Sissako


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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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