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Caught in the stranglehold of debt and structural adjustment, the African continent is fighting for its survival. In the face of this disaster, representatives of African society bring an action against international financial institutions. The trial takes place in Bamako, in the yard of a house, among its inhabitants who go about their business, attentive or indifferent to the debates. Among them are Chaka and Mele--she is a singer in a bar and he is unemployed. It also doesn't help that their relationship is on the rocks.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Unlike other recent films about the plight of Africa, Bamako channels its outrage more directly, yet with greater subtlety, by recruiting real-life witnesses to Africa's economic crises."
‑ Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
"Trial movies can be painful, but Bamako is a powerful polemic leavened with moments of beauty and humor."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"Bamako Puts Globalization on Trial"
‑ Rob Nelson, City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
"Sissako's bolt of lightning is how he once again merges spaces: he sets the trial out-of-doors... editing the village's daily events as if they are all a part of the trial's fabric."
‑ Robert Davis, Paste Magazine
"Bamako is a film that grows on you. Its power is subtle and you don't really feel the impact until it's all over. And when it has, its left with you something unshakeably real."
‑ Moira Sullivan, Movie Magazine International
"If Jean-Luc Godard had kept his sense of humor, he might be making engaging movies like Bamako."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Bamako is an attack on globalization that is endlessly cogent, confrontational -- and, best of all, as captivating as it is illuminating."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Bamako is an amazing polemical political film like no other."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A clumsy, talk-heavy and crushingly heavy-handed hybrid. While it may have the best of intentions, Bamako is sometimes hard to watch."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Dramatic features born and bred on the African continent are rare commodities on these shores, and the opportunities they offer can stretch far beyond film appreciation and into the realm of world understanding."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"[An] intimate, urgent and wildly imaginative indictment of post-colonial economic policies in Africa."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"A strange and often haunting little film."
‑ John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press
"Issue-driven drama has rarely been so polemic as it is in this fierce attack on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund's role in African poverty."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"Free of the indignant self-righteousness of Michael Moore's lowbrow sloganeering, Abderrahmane Sissako's poetic drama offers a clear-sighted examination of Third World economic collapse."
‑ Bill White, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Bamako is challenging without a doubt, but Sissako's righteous anger never loses its ability to connect to the heart, even in the film's densest thickets of symbolism."
‑ Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Daily News
More reviews for Bamako on Rotten Tomatoes

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