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Or de vie

A Golden Life
Still from the film „Or de vie“ by Boubacar Sangaré. It shows the surface part of a gold prospector
© Imedia/ Merveille Productions / Les Films de la caravane - 2023
  • Director

    Boubacar Sangaré

  • Benin, France, Burkina Faso / 2023
    85 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language

    Mooré, Gan, French

OR DE VIE is a documentary filmed at a gold mine in southern Burkina Faso. Teenage boy Rasmané and his peers work daily from morning until night in the mines. Without safety clothing and under the most precarious of conditions, they work 100 metres underground to the point of exhaustion, armed with nothing but pickaxes to get to the much-longed-for gold. The fact that they are minors is of no concern. They are simply left to their own devices, relying entirely on themselves to extract the gold if they want to get paid for their labour. We get a detailed impression of how the mines work, how they operate on a day-to-day basis and the constant risks involved. The camera never feels voyeuristic; it mostly stays with Rasmané and tries to capture his emotions as he goes about his business and communicates to the various supervisors on site. In his rare moments of leisure, we see him and his colleagues cook, eat together and engage in conversations about themselves, their aspirations, their experiences of growing up and their families. The director creates an incredible rapport with those around him; towards the end of the film, we find out why. (Jacqueline Nsiah)

Production Fernand Ernest Kaboré, Faissol Gnonlonfin, Madeline Robert. Production companies Imedia (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso), Merveilles Productions (Cotonou, Benin), Les Films de la caravane (Lussas, France). Director Boubacar Sangaré. Screenplay Boubacar Sangaré. Cinematography Isso Emmanuel Bationo. Editing Gladys Joujou. Sound design Rémi Durel. Sound Seydou Porgo. Assistant director Thomas Henoc Ouedraogo.

Boubacar Sangaré, born in San, Mali in 1985, he earned degrees in both law and film and now works as a lawyer and filmmaker. Following four short films and a television production which he co-directed, OR DE VIE marks his feature-length debut.

Films: 2012: Au nom de l’amour (13 min.). 2013: Kanko L’ixelloise (13 min.), Dieu veille sur les vigiles (30 min.). 2015: Diendé, l’aventurier solitaire (13 min.), Une révolution africaine, les dix jours qui ont fait chuter Blaise Compaoré / An African Revolution, The Ten Days That Led to Blaise Compaoré’s Fall (co-directed by Gidéon Vink, 88 min.). 2023: Or de vie / A Golden Life.

Bonus Material

Director's Statement and Essay

  • Still from the film „Or de vie“ by Boubacar Sangaré. Five men are sitting in a prospector


    InA Deadly Haunting” Uhuru Portia Phalafala writes on the denied childhoods of Boubacar Sangaré’s OR DE VIE

  • Filmstill aus „Or de vie“ von Boubacar Sangaré. Nahaufnahme von einem schwitzenden Mann.

    Director's Statement

    Boubacar Sangaré on the personal experiences that informed OR DE VIE

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur