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Bamako ★★ The Court 2006

Didactic drama that pits African debt against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. A makeshift courtroom is set up in the courtyard of Mele (Maiga) and Chaka's (Traore) home in a poor section of Bamako. Because of international monetary policies, African nations are in serious debt and cannot meet their obligations to their own people while paying exorbitant interest rates. Lawyers listen to witness testimony while life goes on around them. It's important, but most Westerners will probably go “huh?” French and Bambara with subtitles. 115m/C DVD . FR Aissa Maiga, Maimouna Helene Diarra, Tiecoura Traore, Habib Dembele; D: Abderrahmane Sissako; W: Abderrahmane Sissako; C: Jacques Besse.

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Bamako Capital of Mali, on the River Niger, 145km (90mi) ne of the border with Guinea, w Africa. Once a centre of Muslim learning (11th–15th centuries), it was occupied by the French in 1883 and became capital of the French Sudan (1908). Industries: shipping, groundnuts, meat, metal products. Pop. (1998) 1,016,167.