Guimba the Tyrant

Directed by Cheick Oumar Sissoko

Year: 1995
Running Time: 93
Color Type: Color
Country: Africa (region), Burkina Faso, Mali
Language: Bambara w/English subtitles [audio]
Genres: World Cinema
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Guimba the Tyrant

Directed by Cheick Oumar Sissoko

Winner of the Grand Prize at FESPACO 1995, Africa's pre-eminent film event, GUIMBA is a dark political satire in the guise of a colorful fairy tale. Set in the mythical kingdom of ancient Mali, Guimba tells the story of a despot who uses his dark magical powers to rule his kingdom.

Guimba is a tyrant who rules over the town of Sitkali with an iron fist. Using a combination of sorcery and cruelty, he terrorizes people into submission. His one weakness is his son, Janguine, a randy, perverse dwarf who spends his days satisfying every appetite. Janguine is betrothed to the beautiful Kani, but prefers her more voluptuous mother Meya. Guimba supports his son's obsession by exiling Meya's husband. It is a decision he will come to regret.

Director Cheick Oumar Sissoko has created a breathtaking film whose costumes and sets rival classic Hollywood epics. GUIMBA represents the best of a new kind of African Cinema, a story of brutality, lust and despotism which is both timely and timeless.

GUIMBA The Tyrant
Mali * 1995 * Color * 93 min. * Letterboxed (1.85:1)
In Bambara with English subtitles
Directed by Cheick Oumar Sissoko
Produced by Kora Films Le Centre de Production Cinematographique
Du Mali/La Direction de la Production Cinematographique du Burkina Faso
Executive Producer: Sophie Salbot * Producer: Idrissa Ouedrago
Cinematographer: Lionel Cousin
Production Designer: Boubacar Doumbia, Baba Keita
Music: Michel Risse, Pierre Sauvageot * Editor: Kahena, Joelie Rangon
With: Falabo Issa Traore, Bala Moussa Keita, Habib Dembele
© 1995 Kora Films / CNPC du Mali / DPC du Burkina Faso


"A gloriously produced bawdy costume drama...Mixes magic, spectacle and comedy in a vivid spirited way." - Los Angeles Times

"Dazzles the senses." - Variety


  • Winner of the Grand Prize at FESPACO 1995

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Guimba the Tyrant may also be available with Public Performance Rights (PPR) and Digital Site Licensing (DSL) for colleges and universities. To purchase the DVD with PPR or DSL, please contact Estelle Grosso at or call (212) 629-6880. Click here to learn more at Kino Lorber Edu.

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