Director: Cheick Oumar Sissoko
Country: Mali
Year: 1990
Running Time: 107 min
Language: Bambara


In Finzan, Cheick Oumar Sissoko has skillfully crafted a film which raises one of the most important issues of African rural life, the status of women, in a style accessible to every villager. Finzan tells the story of two women’s rebellion. Nanyuma, a young widow defies her brother-in-law, the village fool, when he asserts his traditional right to “inherit” her. Fili, a young woman sent from the city by her conservative father, is brutally “circumcised” by village women, scandalized by her refusal to submit to this ancient ritual. Sissoko weaves these two stories together into a painfully realistic picture of village society, tragically unable to free itself from the past.

About the Director

Cheick Oumar Sissoko

Biography: Cheick Oumar Sissoko was born in 1945 in San, Mali. Having graduated from Paris University in African History and Sociology, he studied film at the Ecole Nationale Louis Lumière. He then returned to Mali and worked as a filmmaker at the Centre National de Productions Cinématogaphiques (CNPC), for which he directed Sécheresse and Exode Rural. His film Guimba was awarded the Special Jury Prize at Locarno in 1996.  La Genèse (1999) won the Etalon de Yennenga at FESPACO 1999 and was selected in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes that same year.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Finzan (1996; 1997);
Guimba (1997);
Bàttu (2001).

L’École Malienne (1982)
Les Audiotheques Rurales (1983)
Sécheresse (1984)
Exode Rural (1984
Nyamanton (1986)
Finzan (1989)
Guimba (1995)
La Genèse (1999)
Bàttu (2000)