Baara (Mali: 1978)


Souleymane Cissé

Cast list

Balla Moussa Keita (Makan Sissoko)

Baba Niare (Balla Diarra)

Boubacar Keïta (Balla Traoré)

Oumou Diarra (the wife of the engineer)

Ismaila Sarr (the senior workers)

Oumou Koné (Djénéba)

Fanta Diabate

Ibrahim Traoré


Written by Souleymane Cissé


Baara, the first feature film ever produced in Mali, is a drama that follows a young man entangled in the growing political and economic tensions in urban Africa.  Balla Diara is a factory worker, struggling to make ends meet on his meager income, and forced to endure harsh and inhumane working conditions.  After his friend is murdered by a cruel factory boss, Balla is compelled to make difficult, even violent decisions.  Set in a modern city as opposed to the oft-portrayed rural village, Baara offers a new perspective on a life in Africa.

Classic Malian film Baara – The Porter screens at AfricAvenir in Namibia, Screen Africa (online magazine)

Michael Dembrow, Baara/The Porter, Cascade Festival of African Films #15 (film database)

Souleymane Cissé, (online database)

Academic Articles

Questioning African Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers by Nwachukwu Frank Ukadike. U of Minnesota Press, 2002, pp. 19-20 (book)


Other movies from Mali made in

Title Country Year Director More infos
Chanteurs Traditionnelles des Iles Seychelles Mali 1978 Souleymane Cissé
Baara Mali 1978 Souleymane Cissé
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