MALI, Journey to the heart of failure

A documentary report by Ousmane Samassekou

2020 / 23’53



ARTE REPORTAGE : 25th april 2020 (replay)


Following the occupation of northern Mali by armed groups in 2012, various foreign forces tried to put an end to the violence: a peace agreement was signed. But reconciliation on the ground hasn’t happened, tensions between communities have worsened, and it is the center of the country that is burning today.

Sory, a young Malian journalist, undertakes to visit his fisherman uncle in Kouakourou, a Bozo village located on the banks of the Niger River near Mopti.

MALI, journey to the heart of failure is a trip to the heart of a country adrift, in search of people and words that can reconcile.


Ousmane Zoromé Samassekou, 32 ans
Trained at the Conservatory of Arts in Bamako and the Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis in Senegal, Ousmane won the 2011 Best Film award with Caski Nafa at the Ciné Ados festival. He has since worked at DS Production in Bamako. In 2014, he is the prize-winner of the writing training of the French Institute of Mali. In 2015, he won the Best Screenplay award at Clap Ivoire for his short film A confession. In 2016, he directed his first documentary film Les Héritiers de la colline produced by Label Vidéo (France) and DS Production (Mali). In 2018, he participated as a producer at the Fabrique des cinemas du monde in Cannes. He also engages with SAHELIEN (Mali), a news information website in Sahel in co-production with L’ECHANGEUR, as director of THE FORGOTTEN ONES, creative documentary on the war in Mali. MALI, Journey in the heart of failure is a short report version.


Genre : documentary
Length : 23′ 53 (without credits)
Shooting format : FHD 16/9 stereo
Dialogues : bambara, french, pular, bozo, tamasheq, dogo
Versions : french, english

Script and direction : Ousmane Samassekou
Naration : Sory Kondo
Image and editing : Ousmane Samassekou
Sound : Jean de Dieu Brou
Sound mix : Julien Ngo-Trong
Music : Zak Prod, Oumarou Diallo, Alphadi Konta
Production Mali : Abdul Salam Hama
Production France : Julien Fiorentino

A documentary film produced by (Mali) & L’Echangeur (France)
with the support of Open Society Initiative in West Africa
and the participation of ARTE G.E.I.E.

Contact : L’ECHANGEUR  90, rue Victor Hugo – 93170 Bagnolet FRANCE /