Archive of films I´ll Sing for You / Boubakar Traoré: Je chanterai pour toi

2002, 80 min

Section: 2004: A Musical Odyssey
Year: 2004

Star of world music, Mali’s “desert bluesman” Boubakar Traoré as a guide to West African music and his own life. 


This film shows how a prominent historical moment and a specific destiny helped form the career of one of today’s stars of world music. Singer-guitarist Boubakar Traoré of Mali, nicknamed KarKar, was rediscovered later on in life. At the beginning of the sixties, at a time when Mali had just gained its independence, he became “ambassador of the twist” and of Western music in general. KarKar, adept at both soccer and singing, agitated for the new regime. When later disillusionment set in, some members of the public blamed him. ‘His songs led us to believe in those who made us poor,’ comments one man in Sarasin’s documentary. In the film, KarKar shows the viewer around his beautiful and tranquil country and recounts its recent history. He also speaks of his own life, and the devastating consequences wrecked by his wife’s premature death and his fall to the lowest social levels. The film is a journey through the various styles of African music: from club entertainment to the traditional role of the griot, from political propaganda to fetishistic ritual. And Boubacar Traoré is not the only superb representative of the “desert blues.” The film also features Ballaké Sissoko, a virtuoso on the kora (African “lute”), and Grammy Award winning guitarist Ali Farka Touré.

About the director

Jacques Sarasin (b. 1955, Geneva) has worn various hats: boat seller, humanitarian worker in Africa, experimental businessman in Argentina. At the beginning of the nineties he founded Productions Faire Bleu which, in addition to other cultural activities, produced his documentaries (Les Enfeus de Saint-Jean, Seul autour du monde, European DN). The feature I’ll Sing for You (Je chanterai pour toi) used Lieve Joris’s Mali Blues as a starting point, and is Sarasin’s most successful film to date. It was screened at many festivals (Tribeca, Los Angeles, Tokyo, São Paolo, Vienna) and took Grand Prize at Montevideo. 


Productions Faire Bleu
5, rue de Charonne, 75011, Paris
Tel: +33 1 479 728 10
Fax: +33 1 479 728 10
E-mail: [email protected]

Brussels Ave
Rue des Visitandines 1/48, 1000, Brussels
Tel: +32 2 511 9156
Fax: +32 2 511 8139
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: 2004: A Musical Odyssey
Director: Jacques Sarasin
Screenplay: Jacques Sarasin
Dir. of Photography: Stephan Oriach
Music: Boubacar Traoré
Editor: Bernard Josse
Producer: Jacques Sarasin
Production: Productions Faire Bleu
Cast: Boubakar Traoré, Ali Farka Touré, Ballaké Sissoko
Contact: Productions Faire Bleu, Brussels Ave

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