Yeelen is subtitled in English but in the language of Bambara, filmed in the African country of Mali. A young warrior Nianankoro, sets out barefoot and alone to find his uncle, Djigui, to take an ancestral fetish from his mother. Nianankoro's father, Bafing Diarra, has great magical powers and is looking for his son to kill him as he says he's betrayed their ancestry. Bafing uses a large pole with magical powers, carried by two slaves, as his guidance to find his son. Little does he realize he son has also developed great powers.
On his journeys he encounters a small tribe run buy it's king Uruma Bolly, that needs help to protect their village from attackers. Nianankoro summons the bees and rids the village of their foes. He also gains a wife, quite by accident. His uncle Djigui's twin brother Soma, is also looking for Nianankoro to banish him and meets up with other master blacksmiths. Sitting in front of their sacred icon, Koma, the group partakes in some home made brew. This is the highlight of the movie for me - after they've indulged, they chant and howl and hoot and well it's a great scene.
Nianankoro meets his uncle Djigui give him the fetish from his mother and it is placed into the carved wing which now gives Ninankoro stronger magical powers. His wife is pregnant with their son and bids her farewell as hes off to confront his father. It's a battle of the stronger powers but justice prevails.
They found some great faces for this movie full of aged character and even with the language barrier, I actually thought it was an okay movie.
1987 - Yeelen - Cannes Film Festival - Jury Prize,
Films Cisse, Atriascop, Midas Productions
Director: Souleymane Cisse
Writer: Souleymane Cisse
Producer: Souleymane Cisse