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THE FUTURE OF MUD: The Tale of a Mason's Story (247)

17:00, Thursday 28th June, Cosmo Rodewald

Director: Susan Vogel (USA)

Year: 2007

Run time: 55'

Location/Ethnic group: Djenne, Mali/ Bozo, Bambara, Songhai and other regional groups

Language: In In English, Bambara and French with English subtitles

Production/Distribution: Samuel Sidibé, Musée National du Mali, First Run/ Icarus Films

A Future of Mud

Grounded in Trevor Marchand’s anthropological research, this film centres on social relations, architectural change, affluence and Djenne’s connection to a global world. It takes a novel approach by casting individuals – a mason, his assistant and his family – in roles similar to their real-life situations. By weaving together observational documentary footage, interviews and staged scenes, it presents a narrative about contemporary building practices, competing aspirations and the precarious future of Djenne’s renowned mud architecture. In addition to the film’s documentary content, the technique of blending fact and fiction in the service of ‘truth’ raises a number of compelling issues.