La Vie sur terre [Life on Earth]

By Abderrahmane Sissako

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This 61 minute film functions like a concert, reminding me of when the Dollar Brand clarinet strikes up on its own, capturing the essence, or of Abdullah Ibrahim when he starts praying on stage in a single movement. Here the words of the prayer are Césaire’s, and the music ranges, almost incidentally, from Salif Keïta to Schubert, the musicality of the sound track and the gentle movements of Sokolo village, and the violent music of Césaire’s incantations, cutting across images that generally remain static as they passionately seek both to capture and respect the movement of life on earth.
As Césaire affirms, « life is not a show »: as he goes to his father’s village, Sissako skilfully avoids all the traps of a sensational cinema (obsession with the sordid, anecdotal details, sensationalism, superficiality, seduction, etc.) by becoming personally involved, by systematically seeking a balance between what is said and what is not said, between what the text states and what the image implies. As the public phone operator puts it: « Communication is chancey. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. » What matters is not efficiency, but the desire to communicate. Every image testifies to the desire to meet, of an openness towards the Other. So much so that nothing is static in this village where time seems to have come to a halt: each person continues on at his or her own pace whilst the world celebrates the year 2000, as it is the simple folk who will be determinant in the future of the world. If only we learn how to listen to them. Which isn’t the least quality of this film.

///Article N° : 5311

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Laisser un commentaire