Melé (Aїssa Maїga) and Chaka (Tiécoura Traoré)’s marriage crisis plays out amidst community life in Bamako, a poor city of Mali. A trial is being held in the courtyard of their shared house, where international financial institutions the World Bank and IMF have been brought up on charges against African society.
Disastrous economic policies have left Africa caught in a vice of debt, with inadequate health and education services having a devastating effect.
Witnesses from all walks of African life are called to testify, from a passionately eloquent politician to an unemployed teacher whose silence speaks volumes.
While the debate continues, with horrifying facts and figures being detailed, everyday life in the courtyard goes on.
Screened at the London Film Festival 2006 as part of the World Cinema Gala, and out of competition at Cannes 2006, director Abderrahmane Sissako’s fifth feature is a beautifully composed and lyrical film, offering a moving portrait of an often voiceless people.