A uniquely made vision from African filmmaker Souleymane Cisse. This film is full of symbolism and legend, and is an interesting portrayal of international filmmaking. A true sense of realism. Very cool because the story deals with magic and the mystical realm surrounding this particular culture. The filmmaking seems almost groundbreaking at times, clumsy at others, but never dull. It's a decidedly fascinating film.
There are undeniably powerful images in Brightness, but they aren't nearly enough to overcome bad acting and a paper thin plot stretched too far. This could have been a very good short. Another strength of the film is the look at a culture rarely seen on film in 1987 (I undoubtedly missed some cultural cues), but this isn't a documentary. That said, Brightness shows how much African cinema has grown in 30 years.
Black Panther is great and important but so American. This is a true African superhero movie: minimalist, earnest, with zero swag, but a lot of heart. And that's not all: it's also a great study of power dynamics, tribalism and sacrifice, as well as a heart-wrenching family story. And the bodies in nature: splendid.
A seminal film from African Cinema, this luminous trajectory of mystical good and evil across African tribes neither idealizes nor condemns. Rather, its main virtues lie in the universality of the idea that natural forces reflect social classifications, epecially if the latter lie deep into Manichaeism. Safe conclusions for the Western eye cannot be secured, but this does not block the bright rays of this gem.
One of the stand out West African films, and the most original i’ve seen. A straightforward plot about a man who goes on a journey to find his father that has cursed him for no reason. There’s magic, ritual animal sacrifices, and it captures the African spirit. Always nice to discover something that is unlike anything else.
Une observation avortée sur le mysticisme des rites initiatiques dans la société malienne. Cissé ne réussit pas son pari de la rêverie, malgré le choix de l'intemporalité dans le récit et une admirable séquence onirique en fin de film. Désillusion assurée dès les premières minutes...
Stunning shots, beautiful people, including the mother and her son and his still-faced wife. Great acting by the menacing father. I kept feeling harbingers of the slave trade in the curse on these people, and the little boy tromping off over the hill to face who knows what.
At first glance, Yeelen might appear to be a simplistic film. Make no mistake though, it's a ravishing experience akin to an old epic that's been passed down orally through generations. Though the style is slow and simple, Cisse's visual quality carries the film. It's painterly with each composition, movement, cut well thought out to maximum effect. I had a hard time entering the film though. It lags in some areas.