Ivory Coast Cinematography

By | June 1, 2022


Unlike in other African countries, in Ivory Coast d’A. (French colony since 1893, independent since 1960) cinema has not been able to count on state aid: governments (strongly authoritarian) have always followed a liberal economic policy, making the country a kind of ‘showcase’ of African capitalism. Cinema suffered from competition with Radiodiffusion télévision ivoirienne, the main film producer, between the 1960s and 1990s, through the Société ivoirienne du cinéma and then the Compagnie ivoirienne de cinéma et d’audiovisuel. Thus, for example, Georges Keita was able to make the first Ivorian feature film, Korogo (1964), an adaptation of a popular legend, only for its television destination. However, the sixties saw the debut of important personalities, such as Désiré Écaré (stage name of D. Ekrarey), Henri Duparc and Bassori Timité. Concerto pour un exil (1968) and À nous deux, France! (1970), shot in Paris, inaugurated the filmography of Écaré, the best director of the Ivory Coast d’A., Careful to describe the loneliness of the immigrant, also resorting to grotesque nuances; he then represented the different experiences of the women of his land in Visages de femmes (1985), begun in 1973 and completed with difficulty after twelve years. Duparc has also been active since the end of the 1960s, initially with documentary films; he then made his debut in the feature film with Abusuan, also known as La famille (1972), a family story in which the rhythms of the village contrast with those of the city; his most famous film is the comedy Bal poussière (1988), where with a light touch he tackles the thorny problem of polygamy. More risky and experimental was the work of Timité (also theater director and documentary maker), author of numerous short films, including Sur la dune de la solitude (1964), and his disturbing only feature film La femme au couteau (1969), in which the psychological implications draw particular strength from the contamination of genres such as noir, thriller, horror. A different look is offered by Roger Gnoan M’Bala: after Amanie (1972), which follows the vicissitudes of a country man in contact with city life, and Ablakon (1984), a portrait of urban society and its influence in villages, built following the misadventures of a petty crook.

According to PHARMACYLIB, in Ivorian cinema, authors who are less constant from a production and artistic point of view, but able to trace interesting paths, have also been highlighted. Starting with the collective work Hold-up à Kossou (1972), created by the Gendarmérie Ivoirienne, under the guidance of Colonel Ouassenan Koné, to illustrate, between realism and parody, the efficiency of his work. Among the films of urban setting by Étienne N’Dabian Vodio, also an exponent of the first generation of filmmakers, are Le cri du muezzin (1972) and La collégienne (1975). Kramo-Lanciné Fadika’s Djeli, count d’aujourd’hui (1981) is inspired by a recurring situation in African cinema – a love story hampered by traditions that impose separation between castes.


Although in the 20th century a traditional type of mural painting was still practiced, the artistic environment in Ivory Coast was characterized by training through institutions of Western origin. Among the most important artists of the 20th century. they are Ivory Coast Dogoyao, M. Kodjo and EG Santoni. International recognition have achieved successful artists since the 1980s, such as Y. Bath, the naive Z. Makre and F. Bruly Bouabré. Most of the sculptors who refer to the local tradition were trained at the French school Ivory Coast-A. Combes; Ivory Coast Lattier, active in France until 1957 and who has received numerous official positions in Ivory Coast, combines local and innovative elements.

Architecture, from the beginning of the 20th century. it has undergone the formal and technological influence of Europe. Effects of early colonial architecture survive in some administrative buildings in regional urban centers, while buildings and infrastructure were encouraged in the 1960s and 1970s as figures of international modernity (‘La Piramide’ Shopping Center in Abidjan, 1969-73, di R. Morandi with R. Olivieri). At the end of the 20th century. Modernist and international trends have characterized the center of Abidjan (the cathedral stands out among the religious buildings, 1980-85). The construction of the basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, inspired by the basilica of St. Peter in Rome, consecrated in 1990, is emblematic.

Ivory Coast Cinematography