Mon nom est Ladji. J'apprends à conduire une Sotrama, appellation donnée aux minibus qui parcourent Bamako. De ma position, j'observe mon monde.
Mali · Couleurs · 90'
Les Films Cissé, Bamako
d'après un scénario original
Lieux de tournage : Bamako
Début de tournage : 10/2013
Date de fin de tournage prévue : 02/2014
Statut de Production : Ecriture / Développement
Budget : 170'000 Euros
Financement acquis (juillet 2012) : 10'000 Euro
2013 | 28ème FIFF - Festival International du film francophone de Namur 2013 | NAMUR, Belgique | 27/09 > 04/10/2013
* Sélection : 10ème Forum de Namur - Forum francophone de la production
2012 | 65ème Festival International de Cinéma de Locarno 2012 | Suisse | 01> 11/08/2012
* Sélection - Open Doors Lab
* Grant Open Doors for development (15.000 CHF)
My name is Ladji. I'm learning to drive a Sotrama, the minibuses that are everywhere in Bamako. My position gives me an unrivalled perspective of the arrogant, condescending, dishonest and corrupt human beings around me - on whom I don't mind admitting that I spit, each and every day.
When my boss unexpectedly fires me, it doesn't take me long to come up with an idea for a fresh start in life. Because if there's one thing I've learned during my long years as a junior driver, it's that the man who has nothing is nothing. From now on, I want everything. Like other people. And since I don't like other people, I'm going to go get what I want in their houses. I'm going to be a thief.
With my accomplice Dramane, I have a little set-up which soon takes us from petty larceny to grand theft, and we soon have a fairly comfortable lifestyle. But fairly comfortable is not enough for someone like me.
We meet up with Sékou, Idrissa and Jean-François. When Jean-François suggests we could get into the drug business, we say yes before he's finished asking.
The logical consequence is that we come up in the world of crime and get some of the benefits: money, coke, high-end goods and girls. But we also start paying some of the price. Sékou takes a bullet in the brain on one of our jobs. Dramane and I get arrested and then released. I have a bad feeling, a sense of unease. Visions. Visions of a country at war. Scenes of rape. And Dramane sinking down and down into substance abuse and paranoia. I'm going to have to get rid of him.
Not long after that, I meet Assitan. She may not be the prettiest girl I've been to bed with, but her dad was once high up in the Malian army. I thought that might come in useful one day. And I wasn't wrong. When our drug business runs up against a hitch after our contact in Guinea gets arrested, it's Assitan's father who gets me back on track. He introduces me to some army contacts who can take over transport of the drugs to Algeria, while all I have to do at my end is handle sourcing the merchandise from Latin America, directly by plane onto Mali territory.
I can't tell you how much money I'm making. Today, I can at last say: I've got it all. That's it. At last I exist in other people's eyes. I've even become like them. To the point where now I detest myself as much as I used to detest them. I realize now just how appalling my idea of happiness was: I was confusing it with pleasure.
Un film de Daouda Coulibaly
Mali · Color · 90'
At the root of this project were the intention to face up to the issue of drug trafficking in Mali and the desire to draw attention to the power of attraction of the drug trade over a population facing all kinds of problems. It was also an opportunity to portray one model of society. A model against which one trainee sotrama driver - an indignado? - rebelled. His chosen way of expressing that rebellion was to become a criminal. My idea was to follow him on his path and to observe how a claim for justice could be transposed into yet more injustice and disorder. It was only a fictional account.
And then came the 22nd of March. A very real day.
On that day it was not the sotrama trainees who revolted, it was soldiers - the "indignados of Kati", as they became known. They, too, were claiming more justice - high-ranking officers in the army were supposedly involved in the drugs trade, getting rich while the lower ranks were sent north to fight the rebellion. They improvised a coup d'état whose indirect consequences were far-reaching upheavals. The country was cut in two, hundreds of thousands of people were trapped, and desolation set in, everywhere. Since then, injustice and disorder are not just words any more, but part of our everyday lives.
So Ladji Nyè could no longer be a film anticipating social trends as I had thought of it only a short while before. Instead it has become a film through which I take stock of the current situation in Mali and in which I attempt to work my way back to a version of "how we got into this mess".
Les Films Cissé, Bamako
Shooting start date
Expected completion date
Writing / Development
Financing in place
Production Company''s Profile
Set up in 1977, the production company Les films Cissé has gone on to produce all the films made by director Souleymane Cissé.
Filmography (Les films Cissé)
Min yè (2007)
Mali · Colore · 90'
Les Films Cissé, Bamako