Sissako, Beyond Territories : The Film
To be somewhere precise yet stand nowhere at all, to embody one’s convictions, yet never miss the essential, to rise up and be present at the critical moment, to bear witness to a world waiting to tell itself and be retold, to come and go, both at once, abandoning reckless speed, but rather gently touching the human soul with images, with whispered words, the cracks in the wall of life: this is the choreography masterfully created in the film Beyond Territories, Valerie Osouf’s portrait of the world acclaimed filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako.
“If you invite someone, you need allow them the space to come in,” confides Abderrahmane in the film. We are invited in, welcomed and treated with familiarity, permitted into intimate, physical territory – the poetic and politically engaged terrain of the director of Life On Earth, Heremakono, Bamako and Timbuktu.
The spaces the film evokes are countless – real places and cinematic locations: from the paternal family’s courtyard, to the maternal family’s window, from Mali to China, from Nouakchott to Moscow, these spaces speak of endless displacement, exile, comings and goings, all these parentheses that delineate the contours of Abderrahmane Sissako’s destiny.
Geniuses inhabit these places: a film loving police officer, a philosophy professor, Danny Glover, Martin Scorsese and many others who will, each with his own voice, illuminating the cinematographic territory of a man for whom, “being loyal to a filmed place” is one of the fundamental responsibilities of cinema. Alongside them and Abderrahmane Sissako, we will walk and stumble across the soundstage of the entire world, through the film, Beyond Territories.