Kotèba Nights

Christian Lajoumard
2009, 52'

Kotèba is a kind of social satire, performed in a burlesque style in the villages of the Mandingo area in Mali. Once a year, the defects of public life are highlighted in a show, and made fun of in the open. This ancient tradition is still kept in the countryside, although it has started to go into a decline, owing to the fact that some of its values have been lost. In the 80ies, Kotèba reached the cities and a movement of actors has adapted it to urban issues. The movement has become incredibly popular and has had a tremendous influence on political life in Mali. In the course of the past thirty years, Kotèba has also been adapted for other purposes: health Kotèba, TV Kotèba, advertising Kotèba… New playwrights and directors have modernized the genre by creating written texts, while keeping what is so characteristic in original Kotèba: social satire, self-humor, and burlesque. “Kotèba Nights” shows the different aspects of this means of expression so typically African and, for some of these aspects, so terribly universal.

ProductionBroadcastingTechnical sheet
Produced by Acrobates Films, in collaboration with BlonBa and with the contribution of Téléssonne,France Ô and the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC).
Téléssonne, France Ô, Télé Paese, Télé Provence
Photography : Christian Lajoumard Assistant Mali : Nji Traoré Sound : Abdou Salam Bäh et Bakari Sangaré “Glass” Editor : Jean-Robert Thomann Colourist : Arnaud Sentenac Sound mixing : Raoul Fruhauf Traduction Bambara/Français : Dahirou Togo Participation : Diarrah Sanogo, Alimata Baldé, Judith Le Mauff, Nouhou Cissé, Lassine Coulibaly “King”, Hamadou Kassogué “Kas”, Souleymane Ouattara, Michel Sangaré, Patrick Le Mauff, Alioune Ifra N’Diaye, Aguibou Dembélé, Philippe Dauchez, Adama Bagayoko, Habib Dembélé, Gaoussou Diawara et Jean-Louis Sagot Duvauroux.