Guimba the Tyrant (Mali: 1996)


Cheick Oumar Sissoko

Cast list

Fatoumata Coulibaly as Sadio
Habib Dembélé as Sambou the Bard
Lamine Diallo as Janguine
Maimouna Hélène Diarra as Meya
Balla Moussa Keïta as Mambi
Cheick Oumar Maiga as Siriman
Mouneïssa Maïga as Kani
Falaba Issa Traoré as Guimba
Producer: Idrissa Ouedraogo
Executive Producer: Sophie Salbot


Winner of the most prestigious award in African cinema, the Grand Prize at FESPACO '95, GUIMBA has been acclaimed as one of the most visually ravishing African films ever made. This epic allegory contrasts Africa's tremendous wealth and potential with its present poverty and plunder. Director Cheick Oumar Sissoko comments, "GUIMBA is a political film, a fable about power, its atrocities and its absurdities. I was personally influenced by what I experienced not long ago in Mali, but the ravages of power are, unfortunately, universal." The story has obvious parallels with the 1991 overthrow of Malian dictator Moussa Traore in which Sissoko was active.- California Newsreel

Academic Articles:

Where the vultures don’t wear Armanis. By Ransdell, Eric U.S. News & World Report. 3/13/95, Vol. 118 Issue 10, pp. 67.

Films By Klawans, Stuart. Nation. 6/10/1996, Vol. 262 Issue 23, pp. 35-36.

Tales of an occult tyrant. By Janet, Maslin New York Times. 5/24/96, Vol. 145 Issue 50437, pC5.

“Film Reviews,” Konneh, Augustine.  The American  Historical Review.  Vol. 103, No. 5, Dec., 1998. pp. 1737-1738.

“Alternating Views: Malian Cinema, Television Serials, and Democratic Experience.” Sow, Alioune. Africa Today. Vol. 55. No. 4. 2009 pp. 50-70

“Comedy of power, power of comedy: strategic transformations in African cinemas” Tcheuyap, Alexie.  Journal of African Cultural Studies. Vol. 22. No.1. Jun 2010. pp. 25-40


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