La Vie Sur Terre (Life on Earth) (Mali: 1998)


Abderrahmane Sissako

Cast list

Abderrahmane Sissako... Dramane
Nana Baby... La jeune fille
Mohamed Sissako... Le Pere
Bourama Coulibaly... Le Photographe
Keita Bina Gaousso... Le receveur Poste
Mahamadou Drame... L'Operateur Poste
Moussa Fofana... L'invite radio
Keita Kagny... L'ami du photographe
Madlaye Traore... Le Coiffeur
Solo Diarra... Le Client


Writing Credits: Abderrahmane Sissako


In the last days of 1999, after a few shots of a French supermarket, abundant in food and color, we hear Dramane compose a letter home to his father in Mali whom he then visits in the village of Sokolo. He meets the lovely Nana, and there are possibilities. People place long-distance calls from the post office. "Reaching people," says the postmaster, "is a matter of luck." Contrasts between Paris and Sokolo - between Mali and France and between Africa and Europe - are underscored by voice-over poems and comments by Aime Cesaire. A man dictates a letter to a brother in France: what is the nature of their hardships? People look for their place on this earth.


Isabel Balseiro, Exile and Longing in Abderrahmane Sissako's La Vie Sur Terre. Screen (online magazine)

Carmen Talatu, La Vie Sur Terre (1998) directed by Abderrahmane Sissako. Blogspot (blog)

Academic Articles:
Toward a Transnational African Cinema: Image and Authenticity in La Vie sur terre by Sarah Hamblin. Black Camera, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring 2012), pp. 8-30

Exile and the “Burden of Representation”: Trends in Contemporary Sub-Saharan Francophone African Filmmaking by Melissa Thackway. Black Camera, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Spring 2014), pp. 5-20

“We’re in This Together” An Interview with Danny Glover by Danny Glover. Race, Poverty & the Environment, Vol. 15, No.2 (Fall 2008), pp. 39-41

Other movies from Mali made in

Title Country Year Director More infos
La Vie Sur Terre (Life on Earth) Mali 1998 Abderrahmane Sissako
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