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Sotigui Kouyate is a Actor and Sound Malien born on 19 july 1936 at Bamako (Mali)

Sotigui Kouyate

Sotigui Kouyate
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Nationality Mali
Birth 19 july 1936 at Bamako (Mali)
Death 17 april 2010 (at 73 years) at Paris (France)

Sotigui Kouyaté (19 July 1936 – 17 April 2010) was one of the first Burkinabé actors. He was the father of film director Dani Kouyaté
and was a member of the Mandinka ethnic group.

Members of Kouyaté lineage or clan have served as griots for the Keita clan since at least the 13th century. The Kouyatés guard customs, and their knowledge is authoritative among Mandinkas. Keitas have to provide amenities to Kouyatés, who in turn should not hesitate to ask for Keita help. The word Kouyaté translates as "there is a secret between you and me".


Sotigui Kouyaté was born in Mali to Guinean parents and is Burkinabé by adoption. When he was a child, he enjoyed koteba performances. He once played on the Burkina Faso national football team. Kouyaté began his theatre career in 1966, when he appeared as adviser to the king in a historical play produced by his friend Boubacar Dicko. That year, he founded a theatre company with 25 people and soon wrote his first play, The Crocodile’s Lament.

Kouyaté has worked with Peter Brook on his theater and film projects since they became associated with one another while working on Brook's adaptation of the Indian epic The Mahabharata in 1983. Kouyaté has appeared in over two dozen films, most recently as Jacob in Genesis and Alioune in Little Senegal. Kouyaté played the central role of Djeliba Kouyaté in Dani Kouyaté's 1995 film Keïta! l'Héritage du griot, the character being imagined as an old dying man by his son, though portrayed as more forceful than that. The elder Kouyaté also plays instruments, simple melodies on the kora or flute.

From 1990 to 1996 Kouyaté toured the United States and Europe as part of La Voix du Griot ("Voice of the Griot"), a storytelling theater show he founded. When asked in an October 2001 interview whether he felt he was carrying a message from Africa, he replied:

Let’s be modest. Africa is vast, and it would be pretentious to speak in its name. I’m fighting the battle with words because I’m a storyteller, a griot. Rightly or wrongly, they call us masters of the spoken word. Our duty is to encourage the West to appreciate Africa more. It’s also true that many Africans don’t really know their own continent. And if you forget your culture, you lose sight of yourself. It is said that “the day you no longer know where you’re going, just remember where you came from.” Our strength lies in our culture. Everything I do as a storyteller, a griot, stems from this rooting and openness.

In 2009, Kouyaté won a Silver Bear at the Berlinale Filmfestival for his acting. He played the main male character in Rachid Bouchareb's drama London River, about the 2005 London bombings. On 17 April 2010, he died in Paris.

Sotigui Kouyate:
A Modern Griot

Director: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
From: Chad/France
Year: 1996 Minutes:58
Language: French with English subtitles
Genre: Documentary

Official selection, African Diaspora Film Festival 2007
When casting The Mahabharata, Peter Brook’s assistant scoured through film studios in search of an actor to take on one of the lead roles, Bhisma the sage. “I saw one shot of a tree and a man as tall and slender as this tree, with an extraordinary presence and quality. It was Sotigui,” recalls Brook in this documentary about the actor. Born in 1936 in Bamako (Mali), Kouyaté belongs to an illustrious family of griots–masters of words who are at once genealogists, historians, masters of ceremonies, advisers, mediators, singers and musicians. He has handed down all these talents, as a composer, dancer, actor and father, to his own children and a multitude of “spiritual children” dispersed across the world, for whom he is a precious guide. Filling each of his roles with profound dignity, he has appeared in some 60 films, including Sia The Dream of the Python directed by his son Dany Kouyate and Names Live Nowhere in which he follows African immigrants in Belgium and tells their story only as a griot could.

Through testimonies by Peter Brook, Jean-Claude Carriere, Jean-Pierre Guigane and Sotigui Kouyate himself, Sotigui Kouyate: a Modern Griot dresses the portrait of one of Africa’s greatest actor now based in Paris. From Africa to Europe, the film unveils the multiple facets of Sotigui Kouyate, actor, musician and modern griot. Winner ACCT award at the Amiens Film Festival, 1996.

"Despite years away from home and a career spanning many cultures, Malian actor and griot Sotigui Kouyaté has not strayed from his foremost mission: to break ignorance of Africa's living traditions and spark encounters across continents" - Cynthia Guttman, UNESCO Courier.

Usually with

Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Sotigui Kouyate (30 films)

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London River, 1h28
Directed by Rachid Bouchareb
Origin France
Genres Drama
Themes Films about racism, Films about terrorism
Actors Brenda Blethyn, Sotigui Kouyate, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila, Francis Magee, Philip Quast
Roles Ousmane
Rating68% 3.4469853.4469853.4469853.4469853.446985
In July 2005, British Protestant war widow Elisabeth Sommers (Blethyn), who is a Guernsey farmer, and Francophone African Muslim Ousmane (Kouyaté) are strangers who meet in London. She is searching for her daughter, and him for his son, following the London bombings. Neither is close to their missing child. They fear that the daughter and son were killed in the bombings. They discover that they were a couple who lived together in a flat in London who planned to travel to France, but were killed by Hasib Hussain when the bus they were travelling on exploded in Tavistock Square.
Faro: Goddess of the Waters, 1h36
Directed by Salif Traoré
Origin Mali
Genres Drama
Themes Films based on mythology, Mythologie d'Afrique de l'Ouest
Actors Sotigui Kouyate
Roles Village Chief
Rating68% 3.448363.448363.448363.448363.44836
Zanga, a child born out of wedlock, is driven out of his village. After many years, he returns to find out who is father is. At the moment of his arrival, something happens that the villagers interpret as the river spirit Faro’s angry reaction to the bastard’s coming.
The Ring Finger, 1h44
Directed by Diane Bertrand
Origin France
Genres Drama, Romance
Actors Olga Kurylenko, Marc Barbé, Stipe Erceg, Édith Scob, Hanns Zischler, Sotigui Kouyate
Roles Le cireur de chaussures
Rating60% 3.044173.044173.044173.044173.04417
Iris (Olga Kurylenko) is a young woman working in a bottle washing factory. She loses the tip of her ring finger in an accident at work and leaves her job. She moves to a nearby port city and comes across a job working for a strange laboratory at which people have 'specimens' preserved.
Housewarming, 1h35
Directed by Brigitte Roüan
Genres Comedy
Actors Carole Bouquet, Jean-Pierre Castaldi, Didier Flamand, Françoise Brion, Aldo Maccione, Marie Mouté
Roles Songoo
Rating52% 2.613712.613712.613712.613712.61371
Chantal est avocate spécialisée dans la défense des étrangers en situation irrégulière. Pour se débarrasser de Frankie, un amant un peu trop collant, elle décide de faire des travaux chez elle. Un architecte colombien s'occupe de tout et les chamboulements qui en découlent prennent une proportion bien plus importante que prévu.
Genesis (2004)
, 1h20
Directed by Claude Nuridsany, Marie Pérennou
Origin France
Genres Documentary
Themes Documentary films about nature
Actors Sotigui Kouyate
Roles Narrator
Rating70% 3.537653.537653.537653.537653.53765
Un griot raconte, sous la forme d'un conte, la création mythique du monde.
Sia, the Myth of the Python, 1h36
Directed by Dani Kouyaté
Origin Burkina faso
Genres Drama
Themes Films based on mythology, Théâtre, Films based on plays, Mythologie d'Afrique de l'Ouest
Actors Fatoumata Diawara, Sotigui Kouyate, Habib Dembélé
Roles Wakhané
Rating66% 3.3225353.3225353.3225353.3225353.322535
Kaya Maghan, the despotic king of Wagadou, follows the instructions of his priest by ordering the religious sacrifice to the Python God of Sia Yatabene, the virgin daughter of a notable family. A gift of gold equivalent to Sia’s weight is given to her family as compensation for surrendering their daughter for the sacrifice. However, Sia runs away and finds shelter in the home of a mad prophet who has railed against the king. The king orders his top general to locate Sia, but the general is conflicted since Sia was engaged to marry his nephew, Mamadi, who is in battle on behalf of the kingdom. Mamadi returns and joins his uncle to do battle against the Python God.
Dirty Pretty Things, 1h37
Directed by Stephen Frears
Origin United-kingdom
Genres Drama, Thriller, Crime
Themes Films about alcoholism, Films about immigration, La précarité
Actors Audrey Tautou, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sergi López, Sophie Okonedo, Benedict Wong, Jean-Philippe Écoffey
Roles Shinti
Rating72% 3.6477453.6477453.6477453.6477453.647745
Okwe is an illegal Nigerian immigrant to the United Kingdom who drives a cab in London during the day and works at the front desk of a hotel at night. The hotel is staffed with many immigrants, both legal and illegal. Okwe keeps himself awake by chewing khat, an herbal stimulant. A doctor in his home country, he was forced to flee after being falsely accused of murdering his wife. In London, he is pressed into giving medical treatment to other poor immigrants, including fellow cab drivers with venereal diseases. Okwe's friend Guo Yi, an employee at a hospital mortuary, provides him with antibiotics under the table.
The Truth About Charlie, 1h44
Directed by Jonathan Demme
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Romantic comedy, Crime, Romance
Actors Mark Wahlberg, Thandie Newton, Olga Sékulic, Tim Robbins, Françoise Bertin, Park Joong-hoon
Roles Dealer Prophéte
Rating47% 2.352562.352562.352562.352562.35256
British newlywed Regina Lambert lives in Paris with her husband, Charlie. She returns home following a short vacation, determined to divorce Charlie, only to discover their apartment has been stripped bare and that her husband has been murdered. Regina is soon reunited with a mysterious stranger she met on her holiday. He helps her piece together the truth about the deceased Charlie and deal with three menacing people who are now following her.
Little Senegal, 1h38
Directed by Rachid Bouchareb
Origin France
Genres Drama
Themes Films set in Africa
Actors Sotigui Kouyate, Roschdy Zem
Roles Alloune
Rating68% 3.4334753.4334753.4334753.4334753.433475
Alloune, un vieux guide du musée africain « La Maison des Esclaves » à Gorée, au Sénégal, part aux États-Unis pour retrouver les descendants de ses ancêtres qui y ont été déportés comme esclaves. Il se retrouve dans le quartier de Harlem où vit la communauté africaine, Little Senegal.
Genesis (1999)
, 1h42
Origin Mali
Genres Drama
Actors Sotigui Kouyate, Balla Moussa Keïta, Fatoumata Diawara, Habib Dembélé
Roles Jacob
Rating66% 3.3293453.3293453.3293453.3293453.329345
Trois siècles après le déluge, le clan de l'éleveur Jacob et de ses fils se déchire avec le clan des cultivateurs sédentaires conduit par Hamor. Quant à Esaü, chef du peuple des chasseurs, il prépare sa vengeance. Frère de Jacob, Esau lui voue une haine mortelle depuis que celui-ci a subtilisé son droit d'aînesse. Reclus dans son campement, Jacob pleure la perte de son fils Joseph, qu'il croit mort.
Civilisées, 1h35
Directed by Randa Chahal Sabbag
Genres Drama, Comedy
Actors Jalila Baccar, Carmen Lebbos, Sotigui Kouyate, Bruno Todeschini
Rating72% 3.637223.637223.637223.637223.63722
The film is a dark comedy/drama about the Lebanese civil war. During the civil war, many well-off Lebanese families fled the country to look for their personal interests internationally, leaving behind their residences under the care of maids and laborers from Egypt, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. The film draws the portrait of a war-tormented Beirut neighborhood, and the love between a Muslim militia fighter and a Christian maid.
Keita! The Voice of the Griot, 1h34
Directed by Dani Kouyaté
Origin Burkina faso
Genres Drama, Fantasy
Themes Films based on mythology, Mythologie d'Afrique de l'Ouest
Actors Sotigui Kouyate, Seydou Boro
Roles Djeliba Kouyaté
Rating63% 3.1832953.1832953.1832953.1832953.183295
Keïta is a retelling of the first third of Sundjata Keita's 13th-century epic, Sundjata. It tells of Mabo Keïta (Dicko), a thirteen-year-old boy who lives in a middle-class family in Ouagadougou and attends a good school. One day he encounters Djeliba Kouyate (Kouyaté), an elderly griot, who wants to tell the young Keïta the origin of his name, being related to Sundata (Boro). Kouyate begins his story with the Mandeng creation myth: As all living beings come together in the newly formed Earth, one man proclaims to the masses that he wants to be their king. They respond, "We do not hate you." The old griot goes on to tell how Keita's family are descended from buffalo, the blackbirds are always watching him, and how people have roots that are deep in the earth. The film shows realistic-looking flashbacks to ancient times and ends with Sundjata Keita being exiled from the Kingdom of Mande, to which he lays claim.
Saraka Bo
Saraka Bo (1997)
, 1h25
Directed by Denis Amar
Origin France
Genres Crime
Themes Assassinat
Actors Richard Bohringer, Yvan Attal, Thierry Hancisse, Anne Roussel, Sotigui Kouyate, Aïssa Maïga
Roles Cissé
Rating56% 2.801912.801912.801912.801912.80191
Deux jeunes filles noires ont été assassinées. Le commissaire Diamant mène l'enquête, et fait appel aux services d'un ethnopsychiatre spécialiste des rites africains.
Sotigui Kouyaté, a modern griot, 52minutes
Directed by Mahamat Saleh Haroun
Origin France
Genres Documentary
Actors Sotigui Kouyate
Roles Sotegui Kouyaté

À travers les témoignages de Peter Brook, Jean-Pierre Guingané et Jean-Claude Carrière, Mahamat Saleh Haroun brosse le portrait de l'un des plus grands acteurs africains Sotigui Kouyaté. Homme de la ville et homme de la brousse, le comédien retrouve sa ville natale, Bamako, après 30 ans d'absence. Sotigui Kouyaté, père du réalisateur Dani Kouyaté et du conteur Hassane Kassi Kouyaté raconte comment il conçoit le rôle de transmission du griot dans une Afrique moderne.
Rainbow pour Rimbaud, 1h22
Origin France
Themes Films about writers, Films about sexuality, LGBT-related films, LGBT-related film
Actors Laure Marsac, Bernadette Lafont, Michel Galabru, Pierre-Olivier Mornas, Ged Marlon, Yasmine Modestine
Roles Le Marabout
Rating61% 3.0615453.0615453.0615453.0615453.061545
Deux amants partent à la recherche d'Arthur Rimbaud en Afrique.