AFFNZ Archive

The Mask from San

  • Genre: Drama
  • Length: 84 Minutes
  • Locations: Mali, France
  • Director: Jacques Sarasin
  • Languages: French, Eng ST
  • Rating:


Tribal masks are loaded with significance but must retain their mystery. Taking his cue from this, acclaimed director Jacques Sarasin has carved a film of great beauty, a voyage between magic and reality that explores with respect and potency the culture – and secrets – of the Bambara of Mali. At its heart is the search for a lost Chiwara (the ritual antelope sculptures that so fascinated Picasso and many French painters). Constructed as an ethnological road movie, the film progresses deeper into the African landscape and ritual – its present and its past – aided immeasurably by innovative dream sequences and the extraordinary music of Tom Diokite.