The little house maids of Bamako

directed by Adeline GONIN

57‘ / 2015 / France

  • Synopsis
    Oumou left her village when she was 14 to come to work as a maid in Bamako. Endless days, humiliation, pittance…
    Like hundreds of thousands of her fellows, she endures harsh life with hope for a better life. By night, these « little maids » gather to express their resentment. Helped by some activists, some of them begin to organize themselves so as to defend their rights. Meanwhile, Hawa is about to leave her village and come for the first time to the city…
  • Context
    Barakeden means « little house maids » in bambara, the national language of Mali. For urban Malians, this word sounds like an insult. At twelve or thirteen years old, many girls leave their village to serve families in the capital city. They often work more than 15 hours per day for a pittance (around 7,000 FCFA, being less than 8 euros per month). Abuses, unpaid wages, rape, these are how their employers and townspeople in general treat them.
  • Biofilmography
    Adeline Gonin
    After graduating in anthropology and sociology, Adeline Gonin got involved in the support of migrant workers housing (foyers). In 2009, she sets up a film festival, « le Festival de Cinéma des foyers » together with her non-profit organisation Attention Chantier (Caution, Work in progress). In 2011, after a first short film, she attends « Ateliers Varan » (Varan video workshop) where she makes Papa Ben, a portrait of a parisian rag-picker. Adeline Gonin runs several video training workshops in popular areas around Paris, prisons, migrant workers housing… and at the same time works on several documentary projects.

    National movie-screening tour of BARAKEDEN, les petites bonnes de Bamako, followed by public debate & National information campaign on the rights of domestic workers held in Mali on October / November / December 2016. For more info on the Domestic Workers Empowerment Tour, click here.

Facebook of the film HERE!


« Impact Doc Award 2017 » for Barakeden, Impact Docs Award, USA 2017
« For girls and with girls Award » for ADDAD Mali, London, UK 2016


-> french version online here : TV5MONDE Afrique

-> english version online here : AfriDocs (only from Africa)
TV5 Monde Afrique / CIRTEF 2016
ORTM National Malian TV 2016
Canal France International / CFI 2015


Festival du Cinéma Social et Engagé, Clermont-Ferrand, april 2020 : postponed to 23/25th april 2021


Ethnocineca Films Series : « Women and Gender Politics »
Weltmuseum, Wien, Autstria, 3rd march 2019


« To cinema for human rights 2018 »
Amnesty International Film Festival, PACA-Languedoc-Corse, France


Impact Docs Festival (Award), San Francisco, USA 2017
16th Human Rights International Film Festival FIFDH, Paris, France


16th Frauen Welten Film Festival, Tübingen, Germany
Société des Africanistes, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France
Mois du doc 2016, Médiathèque de Bagnolet, cinéma Cin’Hoche, Bagnolet, France
6th Festival international du cinéma numérique, Cotonou, Benin
7th International Images Film Festival for Women, Harare, Mozambico
10th Ethnocineca international Film Festival, Wien, Austria
CEPED fait son cinéma, Institut de Recherche et Développement, Paris, France
15th Rencontre du cinéma européen, Vannes, France
21th Afrika Film Festival, Leuven, Belgium
13th Festival Bobines Sociales, Paris, France


2th Festival du film documentaire de Saint-Louis, Africadoc, Senegal
5th Festival des Nouveaux cinémas documentaires, Porto-Novo, Benin
12th Verzio Human Rights Documentary Festival, Budapest, Hungary
23th African Diaspora International Film Festival, New York, USA
2th Rencontres Films Femmes Afrique, Dakar, Senegal
35th Festival international du film, Amiens, France
9th Terra di Tutti Film Festival, Bologna, Italia
15th Festival Lumières d’Afrique, Besançon, France
10th Festival des Cinémas d’Afrique, Lausanne, Swiss
3th Maputo African Film Week, Maputo, Mozambico
11th Festival Ciné Droit Libre, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
2th Festival Après-Varan, ateliers Varan, Paris, France
19th Festival Arrimage, Institut National de Géographie, Paris, France


Duration : 56‘40
Shooting Format : HD 16/9 – color – Sound stereo
Screening Format : HD 16/9 – color – Stereo 2.0 / DCP – BluRay – HD – DVD
Languages : bambara & minianka
Subtitles : french & english
Visa n°140 645 (2015)

Script : Adeline Gonin
Music : Mû Mbana (Portugal / Guinea Bissao)
Cinematography : Adeline Gonin & Jonathan Duong
Sound : Jean-Marc Delaunay
Editing : Olivia Bernholc
Sound Mix : Xavier Thibault – Sonosapiens
Color corrections : Matthieu Augustin – Sonosapiens
Translation FRA / ENG : Grégoire Seither
Subtitles : Amalia Carrieri
Production & distribution : Julien Fiorentino


Article : De jeunes Maliennes entre exploitation et émancipation
Article : Filmer se conjugue aussi au féminin
Unifrance Films : Short Film Gallery

A documentary film written and directed by Adeline Gonin,
coproduced by L’Echangeur & Attention Chantier
with the support of SCAC Ambassade de France in Mali, Mairie de Paris,
Défi Jeunes and the KissKissBankBankers