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For Your Holiday/Weekend Viewing: Watch Award-Winning Malian Feature 'Swirl In Bamako'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
July 5, 2013 10:58 AM
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Swirl In Bamako

Slow news day today, as you'd expect in the middle of a 4-day holiday weekend. 


So how about watching a movie to pass the time? 

Yesterday, I discovered this was online and thought I'd share the wealth, so to speak.

It's a film we profiled last year, as it was traveling the international film festival circuit, and continues to do so. 

This may be your only chance to see it, so take advantage. 

Recapping... it's a Mailian film titled Swirl In Bamako, which follows the tribulations of Makan, a man in love with Sira, but whose earnings as a woodcarver aren't quite enough to support himself, let alone a wife. When he goes to visit a friend who now runs a lottery kiosk, his friend persuades him to buy a ticket, which he places in his jacket pocket and forgets. And as you'd probably expect, Makan’s numbers come-up and he wins the jackpot. The only problem, however, is that he's misplaced the jacket that he left the winning ticket in, which sends him on an revealing journey through the streets of Bamako, in search of it - from the sister of a co-worker he left it with temporarily, to the boyfriend she then gave it to, to the boyfriend's sister, and so on, and so forth. 

And so intent is Makan on finding the lottery ticket that he forgets all about the initial reason he bought it in the first place - Sira, the object of his affection.

It's a lovely film, reminiscent of others that came before it.

I's directed by Dominique Philippe, who teaches cinema at the Conservatory of Bamako in Mali. In 2009, he founded Babel Films at Bamako, which produces video reports and documentaries in Bamako.

The cast of the festival award winning film includes Chek Oumar Sidibé, Mama Koné, and Fatoumata Coulibaly.

Watch the entire feature film below:

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