Dancing the Twist in Bamako: US Theatrical Premiere at Film Forum

Dancing the Twist in Bamako: US Theatrical Premiere at Film Forum

Film Forum is pleased to present the US theatrical premiere of Robert Guédiguian’s Dancing the Twist in Bamako on Friday, February 24. The 1960s were a time of change everywhere, and that includes Bamako, the capital city of Mali, a nation only recently independent from French colonial rule. Dancing the Twist in Bamako is a romance fraught with the drama of political change, infused with the musical energy of that decade. Samba, a young, idealistic socialist, works toward creating a more just nation by day and dances with girlfriend Lara to the Beach Boys, Otis Redding, and the Supremes by night.

The film’s sensibility is inspired by the vibrant images, patterns, and compositions of famed Malian photographer, Malick Sidibé, who documented the styles and ebullient culture of postcolonial Malian youth. Lara’s orange silk dress and Samba’s dazzling white suit, shot against the striped backdrop of their dance club and the black and white checked dance floor they cut up – all suggest that change is coming rapidly, and that life is for living.

Robert Guédiguian (whose 2019 film Gloria Mundi earned a best actress prize at Venice Film Festival) collaborated on Dancing the Twist in Bamako with César award-winning screenwriter Gilles Taurand (Heal the Living, Farewell My Queen) to explore a lesser-known side of Mali’s history, with a powerful love story in a country torn between tradition and revolution. Retrospectives of Guédiguian’s work have been presented internationally in Paris, Italy, and Australia.

“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… Robert Guediguian’s entire cinematographic oeuvre (22 feature films) is permeated by an unwavering fidelity to the necessity of the class struggle, filtered through the intimate.” – Fabien Lemercier, Cineuropa

Don’t miss out on this beautiful story! Dancing the Twist in Bamako tickets are on sale now. Cost is $9 for Film Forum members and $15 for regular admission. Click here to learn more.