Archive for the ‘Film and its Director’ Category

Dani Kouyate, the director of “Keita! The heritage of the griot”

Dani Kouyate was born in June 4, 1961 in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. He received his degree in cinematographic creation from African Institute of Cinematography in 1985, a master degree in Cultural and Social Marketing from the Sorbonne, a master degree from International School of Anthropology and an advanced degree in Cinema from the University of Paris. For more information of his career, click here

More interestingly, if you take a careful look at his family name, you may realize that he comes from a family whose tradition is being a griot to Keita clan. His father, Sotigui Kouyate, is a real life griot and plays the role of griot in the film. Dani has brought this sacred role of his family into the film.

It is clear that the film is a demonstration of his family background and education background. Through a media product, he has conveyed valuable meanings in terms of history, culture, education and anthropology. More importantly, by producing this film, Dani, as a descendant of Kouyate linage, has fulfilled the role of a griot. However, his role as a griot now is not merely telling the stories to Keita clan’s member but also telling those stories to people in Burkina Faso in particular and African people in general and making a wake-up call to them, who are losing their origin due to the predominant Western culture.   Dani feels that in the modern times of globalization, the job of griots is getting more challenging and hence, the griots have to make changes to adapt to new, more complicated era. Using more modern and powerful tool (a film), conveying bigger message ” the world is old and the future is born in the past”  to larger audience are the changes that Dani proposed and actually put into practice .

Posted by Nguyen Thanh Hang.