Abderrahmane Sissako was born in Kiffa, Mauritania, in 1961 and raised in Mali, his father’s homeland. When he returned to Mauritania in 1980, the emotional and financial difficulties of adjustment made him turn to literature and film. A study grant allowed him to attend the Institute of the University of Moscow. Le Jeu (1990), first presented as a graduation assignment, won the prize for best short at the Giornate del Cinema Africano of Perugia in 1991.
In 1993, Octobre was shown at Locarno and won prizes the world over. His film, Waiting for Happiness, was screened at Cannes 2002 and was winner of the FIPRESCI award for best film in the Un Certain Regard section. It was also shown at the New York Film Festival in 2002 and won the Grand Prize at FESPACO in 2003. His last film, the overtly political Bamako represents a move away from autobiography but the explicit subject of Bamako had been the implicit themes of his other films: the legacy of colonialism and the lopsided relationship… read more