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.
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.