DANCING THE TWIST IN BAMAKO
(Robert Guédiguian, France / Canada / Senegal, 2021, 129min)
Romantic Drama, French with English subtitles.
Mali, 1962. The youth of Bamako dance the twist to rock and roll music newly imported from the West and dream of political renewal. Samba, a young socialist, falls for spirited Lara during one of his missions to the bush. To escape her forced marriage, she secretly flees with him to the city. But Lara’s husband won’t let them be and the Revolution soon brings painful challenges as they dream of a future together.
"Inspired by the photographs of Malick Sidibé, Dancing the Twist in Bamako (the screenplay of which was written by Robert Guédiguian and Gilles Taurand) does not claim to moralise or substitute for an African perspective. The film relies on the universality of love stories that defy (at the risk of their lives) traditions and ideologies, to weave a story nourished by simplicity, enthusiasm, and even the touching naivety of youth, against the backdrop of a utopia of class struggle confronted by "realpolitik." A dive into the past, punctuated by a multitude of hits from the early 60s whose fragrance of effervescent happiness is tinged with nostalgia and tragedy, like a challenge to time and the dictates of the mind." ~ Fabien Lemercier, Cineuropa