Yeelen (Mali: 1987)


Souleymane Cissé

Cast list

Issiaka Kane... Niankoro

Aoua Sangare... Attou

Niamanto Sanogo... Soma / Djigui

Balla Moussa Keita... Rouma Boll, Fula king

Soumba Traore... Mah

Ismaila Sarr... Bofing

Youssouf Tenin Cissé... Le petit garcon d'Attou

Koke Sangare... Komo chief


Writing Credits: Souleymane Cissé


Niankoro, a young Bambara native, leaves his mother’s house to embark on a quest for spiritual enlightenment. Through this quest, he has to negotiate implications of magical powers and sexuality before battling the sorcerer father who had abandoned his family long ago.


Ian Freer, Helen O'Hara, Dan Jolin, Alastair Plumb, and Phil de Semlyen; The 100 Best Films of World Cinema: 94 Yeelen, Empire Online (online magazine)

Kevin Hagopian, Yeelen, New York State Writers Institute: State University of New York (university website)

Talatu-Carmen, Review of Yeleen (1987) directed by Souleymane Cissé, Abubuwan Da Nake Rubutawa (blog)

Ed Gonzalez, Yeelen, Slant Magazine (online magazine)

Caryn James, Film Festival; 'Yeelen,' Based on Myths From Mali, NY Times (online magazine)

David-Pierre Fila, Yeelen Ou La Sorcellerie Filmée, Africine (film critique site)

Academic Articles:

MacRae, Suzanne. “”Yeelen”: A Political Fable of the “Komo” Blacksmith/Sorcerers.” Research in African Literatures 26: 57 – 66. Web. 4 Apr. 2014.

Mohammed, Abdullah. “Unjustified Gender Injustices: Unpacking Cisse’s Baara (1978) and Yeelen (1987) Paper presented at the annual meeting of the NCA 96th Annual Convention, Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, Nov 13, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-01-0

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