Deutsche Version

La vie sur terre

English title: Life on Earth
German title: Das Leben auf Erden
Director: Abderrahmane Sissako    → show biography   
Country: Mali
Year: 1998
Synopsis: Mauretanian born filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako travels from Paris to Mali to spend time in his father’s village during the transition to the new millenium. He gets on a bicycle, walks through the streets, crossing the fields and the village squares. During his exploits he meets Nana, a young woman who is also only here on a visit. Part documentary and part fiction, the film describes village life that is hardly touched by the arrival of the new millenium. It reflects the complicated relationship between Europe and Africa, using off-screen commentary and quotes by Aimé Césaire. “Life on Earth which was made for the Arte series Collection 2000 is just simply a lively film. ‘Simply’ connotes the following: the film is full of work, doubts and consequently it is full of fantastic moments, light heartedness and poetry. In a flash, we find ourselves in Sokolo, a small village in Mali, an African world no longer the focus of anyone’s interest. It is a challenge for Sissako, lonely ambassador of a continent whose voice and images are increasingly fading away. Proud and determined, Sissako saved himself by making the film his own way: as an homage to his people in which he tells us about his return to the land of his childhood. Showing respect for the others, for us, he describes the present condition of the world (very bad), finally praising it with an encouraging love song. This thoughtful film has a message: continuity will always outlast the passage of time. “ Gérard Lefort
Language: Bambara, French
Forum participation year: 1999
Forum catalogue PDF: Download

Technical Attributes

Format: 35mm
Rental status: rental upon request
Version: original language version with subtitles
Subtitle language: German
Running time (minutes): 61
Color: color
Sound: Optical track
Aspect ratio: 1:1,66
Frames per second: 24
Length in metres: 1739
Weight: 12.2
Number of reels: 4