Director: Volker Goetze
Production: Volker Goetze: WeitBlick Media, Co-produced with Sam Pollard / U.S.A. 2012
Category: Arts / Human Interest
Language: Mandinka, Wolof, French, English.
Length: 52/82 minutes
Ablaye Cissoko is a griot – a keeper of West African epic histories, a Senegalese storyteller and songwriter. By tradition, griots are the living repositories of West Africa’s oral epics. They recount stories that are crucial for the preservation of West African social structures. Ablaye Cissoko is our ticket inside this mysterious world. Griots today are at a crossroads between the traditional, which is increasingly irrelevant, and something new. What could not be done in a thousand years through the competing ideals of Islam and Western philosophies is being done by a fundamental reordering of economic opportunity. The film captures this moment of historic confrontation between the imperative to maintain the social structures of the past and the need to enter into a dialogue with the international community.
This documentary by director/musician Volker Goetze uncovers the beauty of West Africa’s tradition and discovers that some changes may be afoot that could alter the cultural landscape forever.