truth and filmmaking


"Well, I do not really feel that I have things to say. I do not think such or such movie absolutely needs to be made. A film has no necessity. As long as it does not exist, it does not need to be made. Art is not the truth. I do not think creation has a mission to tell the truth. I am very aware that we live in an unjust world not engaged in finding the truth. I am aware that one can be totally destitute, and yet it is in that state of destitution that one finds human dignity, fundamental values. Today, something else is being imposed. So, I portray people nobody else would portray, but my intention is neither to give them a voice, nor speak up for them, but to convince myself of the necessary frailty of human life.

And also because I know that the fact that I left home did not save me or exempt me from anything, that the self-imposed exile is part of a family sacrifice. Someone leaves because someone else has to stay. The one who leaves is not better or worse than those he leaves behind. The one who leaves comes back to share what he has found."

--Abderrahmane Sissako in
Through African Eyes: Dialogues with the Directors
Edited by Mahen Bonetti and Prerana Reddy

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  1. I like this because it focuses on the frailty of human life rather than trying to find solutions for every single thing, although I'm a firm believer of the power of finding solutions-- still, everyone is not meant to do things the same way. One person will make a self-imposed exile, and another will remain behind.

  2. I don't think I ca n even say much, this was so deep and spoke to me profoundly.

    Thanks so very much for sharing.

  3. @jaycee @solomonsydelle @fashionrehab: Glad you were moved by this! I have been spending a lot of time at the Schomburg Center these past couple weeks, and came across a wonderful compilation of interviews with directors at the 10th African Film Festival. I love Sissako. Met him at NYU film once upon a time. Such a wise and eloquent man.


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