The Info List - Sotigui Kouyaté

Sotigui Kouyaté (19 July 1936 – 17 April 2010)[1] was one of the first Burkinabé actors.[2] He was the father of film director Dani Kouyaté[2] and was a member of the Mandinka ethnic group.[3] Members of Kouyaté lineage or clan have served as griots for the Keita clan since at least the 13th century.[3] The Kouyatés guard customs, and their knowledge is authoritative among Mandinkas.[3] Keitas have to provide amenities to Kouyatés, who in turn should not hesitate to ask for Keita help.[3] The word Kouyaté translates as "there is a secret between you and me".[3] Biography[edit] Sotigui Kouyaté was born in Mali
to Guinean parents and is Burkinabé by adoption.[4] When he was a child, he enjoyed koteba performances.[4] He once played on the Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
national football team.[4] 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.[4] That year, he founded a theatre company with 25 people and soon wrote his first play, The Crocodile’s Lament.[4] Kouyaté has worked with Peter Brook
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
The Mahabharata
in 1983.[4] Kouyaté has appeared in over two dozen films, most recently as Jacob in Genesis and Alioune in Little Senegal.[3] 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.[3] The elder Kouyaté also plays instruments, simple melodies on the kora or flute.[3] 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.[5] 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.[4]

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.[6] 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, Bhishma 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. References[edit]

^ www.africansuccess.org ^ a b "Who's Who at Fespaco: Dani Kouyaté", BBC News, 2005, retrieved 2008-08-24  ^ a b c d e f g h Gugler 2003, p. 38 ^ a b c d e f g Guttman, Cynthia (October 2001), "Sotigui Kouyaté : The wise man of the stage" (PDF), UNESCO
Courier, retrieved 2008-08-24  ^ Dembrow, Michael, "SIA: THE MYTH OF THE PYTHON", Portland Community College, archived from the original on 2008-09-16, retrieved 2008-08-24  ^ " Mali
actor Sotigui Kouyate dies aged 74", BBC News, 18 April 2010, retrieved 19 April 2010 

Further reading[edit]

Gugler, Josef (2003), African Film: Re-Imagining a Continent, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-21643-5, OCLC 52520253 

v t e

Silver Bear for Best Actor

Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
(1956) Pedro Infante
Pedro Infante
(1957) Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
(1958) Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin
(1959) Fredric March
Fredric March
(1960) Peter Finch
Peter Finch
(1961) James Stewart
James Stewart
(1962) Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
(1963) Rod Steiger
Rod Steiger
(1964) Lee Marvin
Lee Marvin
(1965) Jean-Pierre Léaud
Jean-Pierre Léaud
(1966) Michel Simon
Michel Simon
(1967) Jean-Louis Trintignant
Jean-Louis Trintignant
(1968) Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin
(1971) Alberto Sordi
Alberto Sordi
(1972) Vlastimil Brodský (1975) Gerhard Olschewski (1976) Fernando Fernán Gómez
Fernando Fernán Gómez
(1977) Craig Russell (1978) Michele Placido
Michele Placido
(1979) Andrzej Seweryn
Andrzej Seweryn
(1980) Anatoly Solonitsyn
Anatoly Solonitsyn
/ Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
(1981) Stellan Skarsgård
Stellan Skarsgård
/ Michel Piccoli
Michel Piccoli
(1982) Bruce Dern
Bruce Dern
(1983) Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(1984) Fernando Fernán Gómez
Fernando Fernán Gómez
(1985) Tuncel Kurtiz (1986) Gian Maria Volontè
Gian Maria Volontè
(1987) Jörg Pose / Manfred Möck (1988) Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1989) Iain Glen
Iain Glen
(1990) Maynard Eziashi (1991) Armin Mueller-Stahl
Armin Mueller-Stahl
(1992) Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(1993) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
(1994) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
(1995) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(1996) Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
(1997) Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson
(1998) Michael Gwisdek
Michael Gwisdek
(1999) Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(2000) Benicio del Toro
Benicio del Toro
(2001) Jacques Gamblin
Jacques Gamblin
(2002) Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell
(2003) Daniel Hendler
Daniel Hendler
(2004) Lou Taylor Pucci
Lou Taylor Pucci
(2005) Moritz Bleibtreu
Moritz Bleibtreu
(2006) Julio Chávez (2007) Reza Naji
Reza Naji
(2008) Sotigui Kouyaté (2009) Grigoriy Dobrygin
Grigoriy Dobrygin
/ Sergei Puskepalis
Sergei Puskepalis
(2010) Peyman Moaadi
Peyman Moaadi
/ Shahab Hosseini
Shahab Hosseini
/ Ali-Asghar Shahbazi / Babak Karimi (2011) Mikkel Følsgaard
Mikkel Følsgaard
(2012) Nazif Mujić (2013) Liao Fan
Liao Fan
(2014) Tom Courtenay
Tom Courtenay
(2015) Majd Mastoura (2016) Georg Friedrich (2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 32195394 LCCN: no99046045 ISNI: 0000 0000 6309 5618 GND: 122787838 SUDOC: 059630825 BNF: cb14010531k (data) BIBSYS: 10066347 SN