According to Localcollegeexplorer, the cinematography of the former French colony, independent since 1960, is among the largest in the continent, supported since its inception by the socialist government of the time, which understood the communicative potential of the film industry and invested in the sector by creating a series of organizations such as the Office cinématographique national malien (OCINAM, 1962), with functions of production, distribution and dissemination, and the production of newsreels, the Service cinématographique du Ministère de l’Information du Mali (SCINFOMA, 1966), and the Center national de production cinématographique (CNPC, 1977). The early Malian directors, Issa Falaba Traoré, Souleymane Cissé, Djibril Kouyaté, Kalifa Dienta, trained in Eastern European countries and at VGIK of Moscow; the only exception is Abdoulaye Ascofaré, who only made his feature film debut in 1997 with the intense female portrait of Faraw!, known as Une mère de sable. In particular, Le retour de Tiéman (1970) by D. Kouyaté, on the introduction of new systems of agricultural work in the countryside, is the first fiction film of Malian cinematography. Significant works with strong social and political arguments belong to the seventies and eighties, developed by directors who have been able to rewrite the signs of realism: An be no do (1977, We are all guilty, released in 1980), a drama of a young pregnant woman abandoned and Kiri kara watita (1986, known as Duel sur la falaise), a love story that borders on the western of IF Traoré, founder in 1982 of the Cinémathèque du Mali; Mokho dakan (1976, Destiny), on the wandering of a mother and daughter forced to leave their home, and Kasso den (1978, The Prisoner), a political thriller by Sega Coulibaly; the animated films Structure de la société malienne (1978) by Alkaly Kaba and Segu-janjo (1989, known as La geste de Segou) by Mambaye Coulibaly, which used puppets to tell a popular legend. is Cissé, who in 1996 founded the Union des créateurs et entrepreneurs du cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (UCECAO). Cissé’s debut dates back to the 1960s with works shot in Moscow and Mali. In particular, with his first feature film entitled Den Muso (1975, The Girl), Cissé confirmed his attention to social problems and to the analysis of difficult generational relationships, these themes were already mentioned in some early short films and which would have found ample development in the subsequent Baara (1977, Il lavoro), the story of a workers’ struggle with strong political connotations, and Finyé (1982, Il vento), to arrive at what are considered his two masterpieces, Yeelen (1987; Yeelen – La luce) and Waati (1995, Il tempo), of essential value for the entire history of African cinema. Cheikh Oumar Sissoko and Adama Drabo stood out among the filmmakers of the next generation. After his feature film debut with Nyamanton (1988), a neorealist and humorous look at children and the conditions of misery in which they are forced to live, Sissoko made Finzan (1989, Rivolta), militant work against the sexual abuse and mutilation to which multitudes of women are still subjected in different parts of the continent. He later directed the epic-historical films Guimba (1994; Guimba – An era, a tyrant) and La genèse (1999); with Battu (2000), a work set in the streets of an African metropolis that tells the rebellion of beggars against daily abuses, Sissoko then returned to the themes of his early days. Drabo instead represented the condition of women with sensitivity and figurative freedom in Nieba (1986, also known as Nieba – Une journée de la vie d’une paysanne), which takes place between city and countryside, and in Taafe fanga (1997, Potere female), where a reversal of power between men and women is staged in a Dogon village.
History. – Starting from the break of the federation with Senegal, the republic of Mali (president Mali Keita, leader dell’Union Soudanaise, US) was characterized as progressive, in domestic politics for the choices of accentuated socialization, in foreign policy for the loosening of relations with France (in 1961 military bases were withdrawn and in 1962 Mali area of the franc), for the opening of diplomatic relations and the launch of technical-economic cooperation agreements also with socialist countries, for joining the Casablanca group (the states of the so-called revolutionary Africa). Mali Keita’s government soon took on an authoritarian and repressive character; in 1962 the main opposition figures were arrested; no party other than the US was admitted to the 1964 elections. The economic difficulties weakened the position of Mali Keita, who in 1966 (when Mali area of the franc) replaced some left-wing ministers with technical elements and in 1967 dissolved the US Political Bureau, while launching a campaign against corruption. The austerity policy aroused growing discontent in the bureaucracy, while the army resented the creation of a people’s militia and on November 19, 1968 (the National Assembly was dissolved in January) ousted President Keita.
Suspended the constitution and dissolved the trade unions, the Military National Liberation Committee, chaired by col. Mali Traoré, initiated a reactionary policy (in October 1970 many exponents of the National Union of workers of Mali, established in December 1969 were arrested); the chap. Y. Diajité, who opposed Traoré in the Military Committee, was arrested in March 1971 and died in captivity. A substantial rapprochement with France is attested by Traoré’s visit to France (April 1972) and the renewal of the cooperation agreements (January 1973); however, Mali has continued its cooperation with the USSR and with China, while it has approached the Arab countries. In June 1974 a referendum approved a new constitution.