Zan Boko

Director: Gaston Kaboré
Countries: Burkina Faso
Year: 1988
Running Time: 94 min.
Language: Mooré


Zan boko means “place where the placenta is buried” in Moré, one of the principal languages of the filmmaker’s native Burkina Faso, and symbolizes an individual’s connection to the land and to future generations. Kaboré creates a gripping narrative out of the story of two men from very different worlds. They share a common integrity: a peasant farmer who loses his land to a wealthy businessman and a journalist whose uncompromising TV expose of the farmer’s victimization, is censored by a corrupt government. This film is the first to examine the role of mass media in contemporary Africa, Zan Boko is a tribute to the ancestral heritage of agrarian village societies.

About the Director

Gaston Kaboré

Biography: Gaston Kaboré was born in 1951 in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. He trained as a cinematographer in Paris at the École Supérieure d’Études Cinématographiques (ESEC) and completed a degree in history at the Sorbonne. He served as the Secretary General of the Federation of Pan African Filmmakers (FEPACI) from 1985-1997. In addition to numerous documentaries, his films include the features Wend Kuuni (God’s Gift – 1982), Zan Boko (1988), and Rabi (1991). Rabi was shown at the first New York African Film Festival in 1993. His 1997 film Buud Yam was in competition at Cannes and went on to win the Grand Prize at FESPACO. Gaston Kaboré is also the founder of IMAGINE, a cultural center in Ouagadougou that offers residencies and workshops for African artists.

(Source: Through African Eyes – Dialogues with the Directors, BONETTI Mahen and REDDY Prerana (Editors), 2003, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.26)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Wend Kuuni/ God’s Gift (1994);
Zan Boko (1993);
Rabi (1993);
Buud Yam (2008).

Regard sur le VIe FESPACO (1979);
Wend Kuuni/ God’s Gift (1982);
Zan Boko (1988);
Rabi (1991);
La Vie en fumée (1992);
Madame Hado (1992);
Un arbre appelé karité (1993);
Chronique d’un échec annoncé (1993);
Roger le fonctionnaire (1993);
Lumière et compagnie (1995);
Buud Yam (1997);
Le Loup et la Cigogne (2007);
L’Afrique vue par… [Africa Seen by…] – Deux mille générations d’Africains (2009).