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The documentary film Redemption Song sings the song of redemption that the African Cissoko, dreams for his people and his land. Having arrived in Italy, Cissoko, a war refugee, becomes aware of the startling number of deaths caught in the wake of his Mediterranean crossing, brothers who have perished and who continue to perish at sea while taking the same migration route. Indeed, Cissoko finds himself elaborating on these thoughts while housed in a temporary shelter for immigrants, where he and others requesting political asylum are waiting an indefinite amount of time for documents that will allow them to have a life. The escalation of our protagonist’s awareness reaches its culmination in his observation of the extreme precariousness and subjugation, in its various forms, that his immigrant brothers often experience in Europe, where their living conditions are markedly different from what they once dreamed.

Cissoko, therefore, decides to do something to assuage his tormented soul. He will attempt to convince his young brothers to not emigrate in search of false dreams, but to act only with a free mind, aware of the risks and real difficulties awaiting them. So it is with a small video camera that he begins to film what to his eyes is alarming.  Later, upon returning to Africa, he will project the images in schools and villages, hoping to contribute to an awakening of his people. And although a lack of political action regarding the issues is evident, our protagonist’s cry for solutions is not a political appeal.
Cissoko is “virtually” accompanied on his voyage by a few artists, the griot Badara Seck and the great percussionist Ismaila Mbaye, and by the living memory of Thomas Sankara. These figures bolster the emotive tone and provide the necessary support for Cissoko to be able to reiterate over and over to his brothers his invitation to put an end to internal conflicts, to unite and to emancipate Africa, working for its progress while not abandoning it to Western chimera. Eventually, our protagonist’s quest will take him to Brazil to pay homage to the descendants of slaves who, thanks to the unity they have achieved, have kept their African origins alive.
At the core of the documentary lies the awareness that what is first and foremost necessary is an internal emancipation capable of inciting each individual to fight for their own true essence. Therefore, it is also the evocation of slavery that Redemption Song deals with, making itself spokesman of the black universe which, still today, is certainly the greatest victim of this injustice. Nonetheless, the film does not succumb to the lament of a people, but rather incites reaction and inventiveness in the personal effort to take back one’s own life.
In the unadorned simplicity of the Quilombos, the echo of the ancestors’ fight for their freedom is undoubtedly heard. And it is this echo that Cissoko listens to like a melody. A song that he wants Africa to hear.

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Redemption Song it has been recognized as being of Cultural Interest and is supported by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. It received a RAI CINEMA Recognition award and is sponsored by Amnesty International with the following motivation: "Redemption Song" is an absolutely original work, which stands out in a panorama very rich in documentary films on immigration. It speaks not only of leaving, but also of returning, and of voyage and discovery as primary and irrepressible desires of humankind.

Currently, the film is doing an important tour of festivals and presentations, being enthusiastically received and recognized, always making a strong impact at every showing, both in Italy and abroad. There are different reasons for that, but one I think is that in this time where Migration is a very topic issue, is important to follow an asylum seeker, Aboubacar Cissoko, in this articulate and fascinating voyage aimed at fostering empathy and overcoming discrimination, elements essential for establishing a real meeting between the world’s northern and southern hemispheres. The same was true of the showings in Africa, which is central to us, the authors’ interest.  We would, in fact, like to see the film’s circulation throughout some African countries, on a tour aimed at heightening the awareness of young Africans who may be preparing to abandon their homeland and risk their lives. In this regard, with Link 2007's NGOs, we have recently presented the Redemption Song to the House of Representatives, so that it can become a tool for awareness-raising on long and articulated tours in West Africa.


Screenings / Awards: 


FESTIVALS/ Screening/ Awards

2015 Visioni dal Mondo, Winner : Riconoscimento Rai Cinema

2016 13 Febbraio Proiezione/Evento a Ile de Gorée - Senegal

2016 Febbraio - Carovana di sensibilizzazione con l’OIM, Organizzazione Internazionale delle Migrazioni - Senegal

2016  3 Marzo - Festival Internazionale AfricaBamba - Dakar (Senegal) 

2016 18 marzo -  Presentazione del documentario al Museo MACRO - Roma

2016 22 marzo -  Festival Sguardi Altrove - Milano

2016 2 aprile TAG / Tevere Art Gallery - Roma

2016 28 aprile - Auditorium Enzo Tortora - Milano

2016 5 maggio - Auditorium Fondazione banco del Monte di Lucca - Lucca

2016  9 giugno Other Movie Film Festival - Lugano

2016 10 giugno Rassegna Scambiamo il Mondo - Cinema Trevi - Roma

2016 23 giugno Giornata Mondiale del Rifugiato - Officine Babilonia - Cosenza

2016 28 giugno Festival Libero Cinema in Libera Terra, Festival di cinema itinerante contro le mafie. Con Don Luigi Ciotti - Casa del Jazz -  Roma

2016 15 luglio al Romafrica Film Festival - Casa del Cinema - Roma

2016  20 luglio Rassegna Visioni Solidali -  Palazzo Ducale -Sassari,- Clorofilla Film 

2016  21 luglio Clorofilla Film Festival -  Limonaia di Villa Strozzi - Firenze

2016  10 Agosto: Praia a Mare (CS) - Palazzo delle Esposizioni, nell'ambito della Biennale Riviera   dei Cedri - Senza Frontiere. A seguire concerto dei Kidida

2016 18 Agosto: Joggi Avant Folk - Joggi (CS)

2016 20 Agosto: Manifestazione Tornare a Itaca - Grimaldi (CS).

2016 22 Agosto: Riace (RC) a seguire concerto dei Kidida

2016  23 Agosto: "Festival delle Migrazioni" ad Acquaformosa (CS) a seguire concerto dei Kidida

2016 17 settembre  Harlem International Film Festival

2016 26 settembre Torino - Cinema Massimo

2016 14 ottobre Parigi - Ateliers Varan

2016 12-16 ottobre Festival do Rio - Rio de Janeiro

2016 20 ottobre Premio Tenco

2016   28/30 ottobre Festival Internacional de Cine in Patagonia

2016 19 novembre Visionaria (Evento Speciale)

2016 3 dicembre Festival di Cagliari

2016 15 dicembre - Giornata del Migrante - Liceo Montale a Roma

2017  17 Febbraio - Centro Studi Sereno Regis - Torino

2017  27 Febbraio - Accademia Albertina - Torino

2017  22 marzo - Lo straniero (convegno) - Torino

2017  28 marzo - Presentazione alla Camera dei Deputati - Roma

2017  2 aprile - Cinema in Famiglia - Firenze2017  12 aprile - Cinema Apollo 11 - Roma

2017  20 aprile - Proiezione Evento Ventimiglia/Dolceacqua

2017  29 aprile - Inaugurazione MyArt Film Festival - Cosenza

2017  5 maggio - Pensare Migrante - Roma
2017  25 giugno - MAXXI Roma - Giornata mondiale del rifugiato - Rassegna Così Lontano, così Vicino

2017 18-27 luglio MIGRANT Film Festival - Puglia e Basilicata

Information for theatres: 


Story and Screenplay: Cristina Mantis e Cissoko Aboubacar

Director: Cristina Mantis

Produced by: Emanuele Nespeca for Solaria Film & Mario Mazzarotto for Movimento Film

Associated production : Lago Film

Original music: Ismayla Mbaye, Badara Seck, Moustapha Mbengue, Chico Cesar, Docteur Baytoo, Alexandros Hahalis, Fabio Antonelli, Officina Zoe, Gianfranco Grisi, Omparty, Nasodoble, Kidida,

Distributor : Mario Mazzarotto for Movimento Film

Oiginal version: French, Portuguese, Malenke, Italian
Year: december 2015
Country of production: Italia
Shooting format: Full HD, HD, colore
Length: ’70

Distribution Home Video Cecchi Gori Entertainment (october 2016)

Directed by: 
Cristina Mantis
Writing credits: 
Winner : Riconoscimento Rai Cinema to the Festival in milan "Visioni dal Mondo - Immagini della Realtà"
Aboubacar Cissoko, Ismayla Mbaye, Chico Cesar, Badara Seck
Produced by: 
Solaria Film - Movimento Film - LAGO Film
Music by: 
Ismayla Mbaye, Badara Seck, Moustapha Mbengue, Chico Cesar, Docteur Baytoo, Alexandros Hahalis, Fabio Antonelli, Officina Zoe, Gianfranco Grisi, Omparty, Nasodoble, Kidida,
Cinematography by: 
Alessandro Gordano, Cristina Mantis, Aboubacar Cissoko
Film Editing by: 
Cristina Mantis
Production Management: 
Emanuele Nespeca
Release Date: 
Friday, September 1, 2017
Official website:
Total votes: 73312