Keita: The Heritage of the Griot

Director: Dani Kouyate
Country: Burkina Faso
Year: 1995
Running Time: 94 min
Language: French and Jula with English subtitles

Dani Kouyate mourns the passing of the authentic griot, the storyteller who was once the African custodian of cultural wisdom and information, counselor of kings, genealogist, historian, musician, artist – Belen Tigui (Keeper of the Word) of any community. In Keita, he tells the story of Djeliba Kouyate, an old griot who charged in the twilight of his life to recount to young Mabo Keita the origin of his name, a name that carries with it an epic saga of the founder of the Madingo Empire.

About the Director

Dani Kouyaté

Biography: Born to a Griot family on June 4th, 1961, in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, Dani Kouyaté was early on involved with performance theatre. He entered the Ouagadougou African Institute of Cinematic Studies where he graduated in Cinematic Creation. Then he pursued his studies in Paris where he obtained a Master of Cultural and Social Coordination at Sorbonne University. He also graduated at the International Anthropology School of Paris. Finally he received a Diploma of Extended Studies in Cinema. Dani Kouyaté lives in Paris and often works in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Burkina Faso in theatre as a theatrical director as well as an actor. He has directed several short films: Bilakoro in 1989, Tobbère kosam (Poussière de lait) in 1991 and Les Larmes sacrées du crocodile in 1993. Dani Kouyaté is most comfortable with legends. This was true of his first full-length film, Keïta ! L’héritage du griot (Keïta! The Heritage of the Griot) in 1995. It was the opportunity to retrace the legend of Soundjata Keïta, founder of the Mandinka Empire. In 1999 he worked for Burkina Faso Television, directing several episodes of a series, À nous la vie. In 2001, he decided to bring to the screen the legend of Wagadu (a 7th century Soninké myth): Sia, le rêve du python was inspired by the play by Mauritanian writer Moussa Diagana. Dani Kouyaté’s other films include Ouaga Saga (2004), Joseph Ki-Zerbo – Identités/Identité pour l’Afrique (2005), Souvenirs encombrants d’une femme de ménage (2008) and Soleils (2012).

(Source: http://www.sialefilm.com/en/director.html)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Keïta ! L’héritage du griot [Keïta! The Heritage of the Griot] (2005).

Filmography:
Bilakoro (1989);
Tobbère kosam [Poussière de lait] (1991);
Les Larmes sacrées du crocodile (1993);
Keïta ! L’héritage du griot [Keïta! The Heritage of the Griot] (1995);
À nous la vie (1999);
Sia, le rêve du python (2001);
Histoires de griots (2001);
Ouaga Saga (2004);
Joseph Ki-Zerbo – Identités/Identité pour l’Afrique (2005);
Souvenirs encombrants d’une femme de ménage (2008);
Soleils (2012);
Femmes, Entierement Femmes (2014).

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