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Abderrahmane Sissako

SissakoAbderrahmane Sissako was born on 13th October, 1961 in Kiffa, Mauritania. Soon after, the Sisssako family moved to Mali, where the little Abderrahmane spent his childhood. He returned to Mauritania after he finished high-school, but set off for Moscow the next year. In the years 1983 - 1989 he studied at the Film Institute VGIK where he graduated with the film A Game (Le Jeu). In the year 1991 this film was chosen for the Cannes Film Festival, for the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs Section, and it won a fair number of awards. After his graduation he in Moscow filmed his 37 minute film October, which through a story about an impossible love affair deals with the theme of exile. In the year 1993 he worked as an art director in the making of a feature film Molom, A Mongolian Tale ( Molom, conte de Mongolie) by Marie Jaoul de Poncheville. He made his fourth film Camels and Floating Sticks (Le chameau et les bâtons flottants) after a fable by la Fontain. In 1966 he directed Sabriya, a coproduction between a Tunisian production house and the television station ARTE. In the same year that he made Life on Earth (La vie sur terre) he established his Parisian company DUO Films. As a consequence of his own position of a nomad the main themes of all of his films are exile and a troublesome, unsolved relationship between Africa and Europe. His films are a mixture of documentary and fiction, and what is also special about them is that he does not use any professional actors. Improvisation plays an important part in his work, for he is of the opinion that when a director works with amateur actors he is more in a position of a student than a teacher, which means he has to be open to life.


  • 1988 Le Jeu (short film)
  • 1993 Octobre (short film)
  • 1995 Le chameau et les bâtons flottants (The camel and the floating stics, short film)
  • 1996 Sabriya (episode of “Africa Dreaming”)
  • 1997 Africa dreaming (TV)
  • 1998 Rostov - Ruanda
  • 1998 Life on earth (La vie sur terre)
  • 2002 Waiting for Happiness (Heremakono)

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