original Soninké, French, Bambara, Fula version with English subtitles
Using rare cinematic, photographic and sound archives, Crossing Voices recounts the exemplary adventure of Somankidi Coura, an agricultural cooperative created in Mali in 1977 by western African immigrant workers living in workers’ residences in France. The story of this improbable, utopic return to the homeland follows a winding path that travels through the ecological challenges and conflicts on the African continent from the 1970s to the present day. To tell this story, Bouba Touré, one of its principal actors, returns to the heart of his personal archives. They document peasant struggles in France and Mali as well as following the personal stories of migrant workers over many decades. Furthermore, the film is a story of transmission, kinship and cinematographic geographies. It is the story of Bouba Touré with filmmaker Raphaël Grisey, who became Bouba’s spiritual son, but it also chronicles Bouba’s relationship with militant filmmakers such as Sidney Sokhona or Med Hondo. Throughout the film, voices come to accompany Bouba and bring forth the narrative of a forgotten memory leading towards the future. Over the course of the film, different voices enter the sound-scape to accompany Bouba Touré’s voice; they bring the tale of a forgotten memory toward a possible future sung by an electronic griot storyteller.
2022 Institut Français – Louis Marcorelles Award & Ciné + Young Jury Award – 44 Cinéma du Réel, Paris 29 Hot Docs Toronto