La vie sur terre

  • 61'
  • France
  • 1998
His first full-length feature expresses again Sissako’s talent to shape improvised stories with local inhabitants. This time, the Paris-based director returns on the eve of the year 2000 to the Malinese village of Sokolo where his father lives. When he arrives, he explores the surroundings on a bike. The reflection he had in mind about the turbulent relationship between Africa and Europe never becomes bombastic despite the militant texts by the Martinique writer Aimé Césaire. On the contrary, Sissako mainly speaks in images: opulent, powerful images.
In the village, where time seems to have come to a standstill, hardly anything points to the fact that the new millennium is about to start. The great expectations in the western world find a very modest translation here in a few lost radio reports that hardly reach the local population. A telephone call to another area of the same country is hardly technically possible, let alone an open link to the rest of the world. Sissako’s encounter with the young Nana, who is also passing through, forms a dynamic counterpoint. Life on Earth was Sissako’s contribution to the successful project ‘2000, vue par...’, a series of films about the last days of the 20th century.

Abderrahmane Sissako
Countries of production
France, Mauritania
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 1999
International title
Life on Earth
Haut et Court
Celluloid Dreams
Abderrahmane Sissako
Abderrahmane Sissako