Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Griot, directed by Volker Goetze (Courtesy Vancouver International Film Festival)

Griot, directed by Volker Goetze

(Courtesy Vancouver International Film Festival)

VIFF 2012

VIFF movie review: Griot Add to ...

  • Directed by Volker Goetze
  • Genre documentary
  • Country Senegal / USA / France / Germany

The griot is a fixture of Senegalese life. Part family historian, part community diplomat, they record the past and present it in a mix of songs and words. This world-premiere documentary, from German trumpeter-cum-filmmaker Volker Goetze, explores the life of legendary Senegalese musician and community leader Ablaye Cissoko, a modern-day griot whose haunting voice is often accompanied by the jazz trumpet of Mr. Goetze. Mr. Cissoko talks, and sings, about his upbringing in a musical family – one of 21 children – as well as his life’s passion: finding a way to keep the young people of Senegal from fleeing the country and the central role of music in that endeavour (he wants to build a music school and culture centre in the port city of Saint-Louis). Visually and aurally, the documentary is stunningly beautiful, but the narrative is at times scattershot, mixing the political, historical and personal with no clear intent.

Sept. 27, 6:30 p.m. Granville 2; Sept. 30, 1:30 p.m. Vancity

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeArts

More Related to this Story

In the know

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular