Genesis (La Genèse)

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Director : Cheick Oumar Sissoko
Starring: Balla Moussa Keita, Salif Keita, Sotigui Kouate
Country s : Africa (region), Mali
Genre : Religion
Type: Color
Year: 1999
Language: Bambara w/English subt.
Length: 102
Aspect Ratio: 1.85.1


Genesis is a visually stunning film of the Biblical story of the house of Abraham, told from an African perspective. Based on chapters 33-37 of the book of Genesis, the film portrays the bitter rivalry between the brothers Jacob and Esau, which threatens to engulf both clans in a never-ending cycle of violence.

Jacob the Hebrew herder has tricked his older brother Esau (famed African musician Salif Keita) out of his birthright, so Esau and his tribe of nomadic hunters plot revenge on Jacob and his people. Their Cannanite cousins, led by Hamor, are drawn into the conflict. When Jacob's daughter Dina is abducted by Hamor's son Sichem, he allows them to marry. But Jacob's sons are still angry, leading to further violence.

Unlike Hollywood's sanitized versions of the Bible, Genesis shows men driven as much by greed and anger as by devotion to God. Using the striking African landscape, director Sissoko creates a powerful story of hatred and revenge that resonates in many parts of the world today.


"A work of deep conscience and imagination, of great visual beauty. Stunning." -- Stewart Klawans, The Nation

"A dazzlingly beautiful film, filled with a kaleidoscopic, technical brilliance." -- Michael Freisden, Time Out

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