Bamako (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bamako (2006)



Critic Consensus: A courtroom drama and a portrait of everyday Mali life, Bamako approaches both subjects with equal skill and success.

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Caught in the stranglehold of debt and structural adjustment, the African continent is fighting for its survival. In the face of this disaster, representatives of African society bring an action against international financial institutions. The trial takes place in Bamako, in the yard of a house, among its inhabitants who go about their business, attentive or indifferent to the debates. Among them are Chaka and Mele--she is a singer in a bar and he is unemployed. It also doesn't help that their relationship is on the rocks.

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Critic Reviews for Bamako

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (24)

A courtroom drama with a difference.

April 18, 2016 | Full Review…
New Yorker
Top Critic

[An] intimate, urgent and wildly imaginative indictment of post-colonial economic policies in Africa.

June 14, 2007 | Full Review…
Washington Post
Top Critic

Trial movies can be painful, but Bamako is a powerful polemic leavened with moments of beauty and humor.

June 2, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Bamako is an attack on globalization that is endlessly cogent, confrontational -- and, best of all, as captivating as it is illuminating.

June 1, 2007 | Full Review…
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

[Director] Sissako somehow manages to reconcile the passionate words of the debate and the mundane activities surrounding it, but he seems most interested in noting and even marveling at the subtle comedy of their coexistence.

March 9, 2007 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

[Director] Sissako has an unusual camera eye, patient and alert to the ebb and flow of both the courtroom sequences and the outside scenes. The music is wonderful as well.

March 8, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bamako

[font=Century Gothic]"Bamako" is set in the capital of Mali where a trial is being argued in the case of the African peoples vs the World Bank, alleging the World Bank through its usurious loans keeps Africa in a state of perpetual poverty. But after the opening arguments point out that the World Bank debt payments dwarf the social services budget of several countries, and the effect of poverty on the citizenry, very little evidence is presented, either way. Alas, the lawsuit is too broad to serve as the basis of a narrative movie and does not adequately give a face to African poverty.(The movie "Yesterday" did excel by bringing the AIDS epidemic down to a human level. And say what you will about "Boston Legal", but that is what it does on a weekly basis, with the issues of the day.) And despite the movie's urgent message, it almost gets lost in its own stridency towards the end.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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