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NYFF: “Bamako.”

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"When's it going to end?"
Abderrahmane Sissako‘s "Bamako" is a howl of rage and sorrow, a film that imagines the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and similar institutions being brought to trial for their actions against Africa in front of a makeshift tribunal in a courtyard in an quiet section of Mali’s capital city. It’s also profoundly didactic, and while we don’t fault "Bamako"’s message or the passion behind it, we also can’t recommend it as a film.

The origins of the trial are never explained; the judges, lawyers and witnesses assemble in the open air each morning, taking their places at fold-out tables. The witnesses are from all walks of life, and when they are called to the stand they deliver speeches ranging from personal testimonials to political broadsides to an anguished song. Meanwhile, life continues in the courtyard — women are hard at work dyeing fabric, someone bathes a child, a gun goes missing, and a couple, Chaka and Melé, approaches the end of their relationship.

The conceit of the trial is unbearably wistful. That there could be a voice and person representing and taking responsibility for the very concept of international finance groups as a whole; that such dialogues could take place, and, further, that they could take place on African terms and on African soil; that all people could come forward to testify — this is a situation that could exist only, well, in a movie. And so Sissako uses this structure to give his characters a chance to voice their arguments in undiluted chunks essentially directly to the camera. The smatterings of narrative in the background (including a film some children are watching on TV that briefly takes over the screen — a ludicrous Western entitled "Death in Timbuktu" that stars executive producer Danny Glover and Palestinian director Elia Suleiman) are just spoonfuls of sugar to make the messaging go down. Whatever your thoughts of Sissako’s views on globalization (which are not moderate), it’s difficult not to come out feeling pummeled, or at least, lectured to.

Screens October 2 and 3 at Alice Tully Hall, and will receive a theatrical release from New Yorker Films in February 2007.

+ "Bamako" (NYFF)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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