When Sissako embarked on his studies at the Moscow film school, he met the Angolan freedom fighter Baribanga. They spent 30 hours together in the train from Moscow to Rostov, where they were to spend a year learning Russian. This journey made a great impression on the director. Baribanga’s experiences in Angola, the African country that was the last to gain independence, were characterised by violence and resistance. Sissako, who grew up in Mali, had a relatively carefree childhood and only faced political problems later in life. They never saw each other again.
In the documentary Rostov-Luanda (made for the five-yearly art exhibition Documenta) 16 years after their encounter Sissako decides, with only one picture of Baribanga in his pocket, to travel to Angola, a country still restless, to look for his former travelling companion. The film is a report of his quest for Baribanga and a reflection on his own life, but just as much a powerful portrait of a country in transformation.

Abderrahmane Sissako
Countries of production
Angola, Mauritania
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Betacam SP PAL
Chinguitty Films
Abderrahmane Sissako