Friday, May 4, 2018

Griot - Trailer (Long Version) and GRIOT Theatrical Trailer (2011 documentary film about West African girots)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides an excerpt of the Wikipedia page on griots and showcases two trailers of the documentary film entitled Griot.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, educational, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Volker Goetze, Ablaye Cissoko, and others who were affiliated with this film. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post.
Click for the closely related pancocojams post about Senegalese griot Ablaye Cissoko's song "Sira".

"A griot ... jali or jeli (djeli or djéli in French spelling) is a West African historian, storyteller, praise singer, poet and/or musician. The griot is a repository of oral tradition and is often seen as a societal leader due to his or her traditional position as an advisor to royal personages. As a result of the former of these two functions, he or she is sometimes also called a bard. According to Paul Oliver in his book Savannah Syncopators, "Though [the griot] has to know many traditional songs without error, he must also have the ability to extemporize on current events, chance incidents and the passing scene. His wit can be devastating and his knowledge of local history formidable". Although they are popularly known as "praise singers", griots may use their vocal expertise for gossip, satire, or political comment.

Griots today live in many parts of West Africa and are present among the Mande peoples (Mandinka, Malinké, Bambara, etc.), Fulɓe (Fula), Hausa, Songhai, Tukulóor, Wolof, Serer, Mossi, Dagomba, Mauritanian Arabs and many other smaller groups. The word may derive from the French transliteration "guiriot" of the Portuguese word "criado", or masculine singular term for "servant". These story-tellers are more predominant in the northern portions of West Africa.

In African languages, griots are referred to by a number of names: jeli in northern Mande areas, jali in southern Mande areas, guewel in Wolof, gawlo in Pulaar (Fula), and iggawen in Hassaniyan."...

Example #1: Griot - Trailer (Long Version)

Volker Goetze, Published on Aug 4, 2011


By tradition, griots are the living repositories of West Africa's oral epics — histories that are crucial for the preservation of West African social structures. The Griot, a documentary by Volker Goetze, uncovers the beauty of West African's traditional past and discovers that some revolutionary changes may be afoot — changes that could alter the cultural landscape forever.

Genre: Documentary
Production Company: Weitblick Media (USA)
Producer: Volker Goetze
Co-Producer: Sam Pollard
Director: Volker Goetze
Camera: Sanne Kurz
Editor: Victor Kanefsky
Additional Editing: Marie Planquois
Author: Leslie Mulkey
SuperDraw: Joshue Ott
Recorded Saint-Louis, Dakar (Senegal); New York (USA); Paris (France)
Duration: 82' 55"
Subtitles [with my explanations in brackets]

[song clip “Sira”]
“Sira, Sira, Sira, Sira...
“The day Sira was born”
“The ocean was vibrant”

[song clip: "Coulon Coulon"]
“Mother, mother, mother...”
“The child calls his mother”
“When he is hungry”
“the child calls his mother.”

[Ablaye speaking]:
“My forefathers, they are my foundation.”
“They are the tree. I am the branch.”
“My father had 4 wives and 21 children.
Without exception, they are all musicians.”

[a statement given as a subtitle]
Mind full of knowledge and words full of solution.

[young man rapping on city street]- “I wonder why…for the economy, why Africa is always behind…”

[song clip- “Haiti”]
“The earth is breaking Haiti.”
“Despair arrived.”
“I do not know what the cause is.”
The earth trembled in Haiti.”

[woman speaking]
“The values of a griot are:
You play and you sing.
You love the people.
You respect the people.”

[Ablaye speaking]
“It is just like the rain falling down,
Here you are. You are thirsty…
You feel dirty…
And the water is falling down…
You drink a lot and you feel good.

You want a friend whom you can tell something...
you would not even tell your parents.
You can confide a secret.

[Another man speaking] -
It’s in the blood.
We did not learn music. It is in our blood.

[another man speaking] – The griot is Africa.

[another man speaking] – When you wake...
you leave...
not knowing...
where you are going.
You are Lost."
That is the end of this trailer's sub-titles.

(numbers assigned for referencing purposes only)
1. Lili Baobab, 2014
Hi Volker ! when can i see the movie please ?

2. Volker Goetze, 2017
Hi Lili, you can get a DVD here:

3. Amun Ankh-El, 2012
"what is the name of that song that he is singing when he speaks about the child calls for his mother when he's hungry"

4. Volker Goetze, 2012
"It's . It will be available with a soundtrack CD once the film is being released. Thank you for asking! I can sent you the text in Mandinka with a French translation.
This comment includes Volker Goetze’s email. However adhering to my policy for this blog, I don’t include commenter’s emails.
Also, that song isn’t found on YouTube.

5. Volker Goetze, 2012

N'nawo nawo nawo Mother, mother, mother,

dingdinwou ya n'aa kili the child calls his mother.

N'nawo nawo nawo Mother, mother, mother,

dingdinwou ya n'aa kili the child calls his mother.
This reply to the commenter's request for lyrics for this song includes Mandinka words and their French translation. Those words above are translated to English by Google translate.

This is probably only a portion of this song’s lyrics as in his response, Volker Goetze wrote that YouTube didn’t allow longer text. He also gave his email address in his comment, but per my policy, I don't include personal email addresses on this blog.

6. TheDivineWitness, 2013
"@vgoetze Hello
I just watched the trailer "Griot" in youtube , and i would like to
know where i can buy the dvd here in Senegal?
I would also like to know the name of the griot sin ging in the
debut?(the one thats born in a family of 21kids.
I would also like the lyrics of the song coulon coulon ....i am
mandinka i think i don't need the translation...
Thank you
From reading other discussion threads, I learned that this griot’s name is Ablaye Cissoko.

Example #2: GRIOT Theatrical Trailer

Volker Goetze, Published on Sep 26, 2013
Selected comments:
1. Amun Ankh-El, 2014
"Volker Goetze....could you send to me the exact link so that i could by the song "Mother Mother"?"

2. Volker Goetze, 2017

3. BearClaw, 2014
"Looking forward to seeing the entire film!"

4. Volker Goetze, 2017
"Hi, a DVD is now available here:

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