Viewers Respond to Burkinabè Rising

Burkinabé Rising
Photo credit: Benjamin Lebrave, Akwaaba Music


To get the most recent news about film screenings and other updates, like us on Facebook here!

We have been honored to receive feedback and comments from audience members who have viewed Burkinabè Rising. If you have watched the film, we invite you to send us your thoughts and keep the discussion going! We can be reached by email at

Laurence M., Haiti People watch movies as they watch themselves: to maintain life with creativity, especially in ways used to assert their rights. The women were proud to see their sisters in Africa. They were pleased to see how they dance and they were surprised to see how creativity in our own culture looks like theirs. The film opened their eyes and helped them understand their place in society to make changes.

Geneviève X., France I really liked Burkinabè Rising! The images are very beautiful and the editing is dynamic, and I especially liked how you spoke of Burkina through the artists! You showed the richness of the culture. However, it seemed to me incomplete not to mention the difficulties and challenges that the Burkinabè people are facing, like terrorist threats. This film is a dynamic gateway to Burkinabè culture, but it could possiblt be followed by another film showing the difficulties. Thank you in any case for this magical film entrance to a debate on Burkina!

Hannelore R., Switzerland I just saw Burkinabè Rising. What a beautiful film! I'm a true admirer of Sankara, one of the most wonderful and inspiring men in the entire history of humanity. The documentary has so many beautiful scenes and the images are high quality! The film also has a lot of beautiful testimonials and a true message of hope for the future of this great country.

Cineclube Bamako, Brazil We had screenings in Porto Alegre and Recife. At both screenings, we had a great return audience response and the discussions generated were very rich. In Porto Alegre, people emphasized the importance of the film in our current political context, especially when highlighting our afrocentric reference to the power of culture. More people even asked to see the film!

PAWA 254, Kenya The screening went on very well and we were excited by the attendance and the feedback we got. The film is beautiful and inspirational.

Paulo S., Azores I really liked the film. Congratulations on your success! It is important to show the real world to those who refuse to realize that the world goes far beyond the street at the end of their neighborhood.

Julie S., Vanuatu Burkina Faso, land of upright men. Thank you to Further Arts, Nesar Studioet, and the French Alliance of Port Vila for helping us discover this magnificent film, It is so rich in contemporary art, ancestral cultures, dances, masks, performances, installations, and public actions. A real bomb charged with political, agricultural, and human resistance. Find this film. It's a treasure!

Further Arts, Vanuatu There was such an emotional reaction to this brilliant film by Iara Lee, bringing to mind Toni Morrison's take on the artist's task in troubled times. She says, "This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilisations heal."

Alberto B., Azores Congratulations on the film. It is celebrating people who are trying to do something for those who really need it!

Ana P., Azores So many beautiful things are being done by those who have so little. A lesson for Western civilization!

Celine V., Brazil I found your documentary very profound and inspiring, just like your attitude!

Georges C., Vanuatu The screening went very well. The reactions have been very positive. It's a very beautiful documentary that makes you want to act, to launch initiatives. Congratulations and thank you!

Nadine O., Gabon The screenings were very well in front of a young audience. They really liked the film! For some of the students, there were discovering life in Burkina Faso. Bravo!

Luísa G., Brazil The world needs more people like you. I hope that this generation changes the political system that is based on economic interests. All the best in your activities!

Flavio S., Brazil The World is a better place with your presence. I've been watching a lot of your work. It is fascinating and captivating!

Nadine S., Chile Your film was deeply inspiring for people working for human rights and it made me think about the reality of people here in Chile living as a culture of resistance too. It left me reflecting about my own commitment to community development. Keep inspiring, Iara! We are blessed with people like you who open windows to other realities that are far from home but living with lots of inequality and a lack of opportunities in their lives, as is the case here.

Vera G., Brazil I'm in love with this movie!

André T., Madeira Island I really liked the film! I had no idea about all the dynamics that existed there and I confess I was not expecting to meet a country as evolved as you showed. I really liked it.

Joana P., Madeira Island I loved the movie and your presence! It was incredible and an inspiration. Thank you! It's so good to meet people who make us believe that the world can always be a better place!

Marina D., United States The screening was last night and it was fabulous. The film is amazing! We held a Q&A afterwards and I didn’t know if anyone would stay but they ALL did, and everyone shared their impressions on the film. We absolutely loved it! We could all identify with so many things in the film.

Juan P., United States Just saw the film last night. It's awesome to see the role that art and culture performances play in the struggle in Burkina Faso!

Saidi O., Burkina Faso Congratulations on this fantastic work done in the land of upright men. Watching your film, I was even prouder to be a Burkinabè. Thank you!

Sarah T., Burkina Faso Really happy to have seen this film! Thank you, Iara Lee. A very good film!

Valor K., Burkina Faso Congratulations, Iara, on this magnificent film about Thomas Sankara told through the different art forms of Burkina Faso! I was impressed by the work because it is dynamic, captivating, and especially rich in teaching! Thank you for having invited me to this great world premiere! Thank you for this honor! Good luck!

Sarah T., Ivory Coast A very critical film. Yes, resistance is possible through art.

Douo C., Ivory Coast I discovered a strong, honest Burkinabè people, with cultural and moral values, through your film.

Penelope P., Ivory Coast It was so inspiring to see your work about Burkina Faso and Thomas Sankara's legacy.

Christian C., Italy The theatre was almost full and the audience liked the film a lot. I recognized my Burkina in it and got to know a lot of musicians and performers that I did not know. Thanks!

Laura L., Italy A great film and a great discussion after the screening. Good luck! We await your next film!

Tora-san T., Ivory Coast Beautiful images. I liked the rhythm of the movie. It was as if we were part of the movement!

Aimé I., Burkina Faso This film is a mirror of Burkina Faso's revolution! Congratulations on this message from Burkina Faso to the rest of the world. I am truly happy that you directed this. It is a true mark that, to us, you are now a Burkinabè at heart because you created the true image of the Burkinabè people that Sankara wanted. Thank you.

Dao C., Burkina Faso Congratulations on the film. It is very original. I especially liked the transitions between the different artistic disciplines and the fight.

Dao C., Ivory Coast I am truly impressed and admiriing of all that you do to restore truth in countries tormented by crises.

Mahamadi I., Burkina Faso Bravo, Iara, on this beautiful film. Long live the spirit of Thomas Sankara!

Jean-Marie K., Burkina Faso Thank you, and thank you again for this beautiful film that we followed with great emotion. As you said so well in your message to us, you were moved by the climate of resistance from the popular uprising in Burkina Faso. Bravo for allowing us to relive these times of the uprising, for reviving our dear president Sankara, for depicting the determined youth who took their destiny into their own hands with the uprising—in short, for the new Burkina Faso that is emerging. This film is galvanizing for us in Burkina Faso, but also for all of Africa and even for the entire world, in inspiring the resistance and the defense of our values and dignity in a vision of political and food sovereignty. The conversations after the screening were very interesting and the speakers expressed their great gratitude to you for this high quality film. Congratulations again to you and your team.

Mien G., Burkina Faso Burkinabè Rising is a beautiful documentary, full of talent and good ideas, and I enjoyed watching it. It is a very positive film. Thanks again for this beautiful documentary, for the time spent together, and for your powerful projects!

Zongo L., Burkina Faso Burkinabè Rising is a cool project. It is welcomed by us. May the ancestors spirits guide its steps and our breath accompany it everywhere. This project deserves to be seen by the entire world. Good luck!

Davide Q., Burkina Faso Great film! We just attended the premiere in Ouagadougou by pure chance. We were "captured" by the screen. Amazing work. Maximum respect to all the people involved in this wicked movie! It would be nice, from our side, to support, diffuse, and organize screenings. Big up from Cinema du Desert, a solar-powered mobile cinema. Thank you for this work!

Zoure H., Burkina Faso I really admire your courage. I truly appreciated your film and you should be proud of it. It was very well received and the debates after the screening were very lively.

Toussaint Z., Burkina Faso I went to the screening at Cine Droit Libre. It was very successful. Everything was great.

Ismael C., Burkina Faso A beautiful film. I liked your choices and the artistic approach used to tell the story and enter the universe of the characters.

Maha M., Bangladesh Firstly, I just want to congratulate you for such an inspiring and powerful film. It was like, Wow! I was talking to a friend about how we could show a film like Burkinabè Rising in our universities.

Bruno B., Belgium I watched "Burkinabè Rising" and I was flabbergasted by the dynamic and very combative, if not revolutionary, spirit in Burkina Faso, especially in the artistic world as seen in your film. While "La vie attend: Référendum et résistance au Sahara Occidental" also emphasized the cultural and artistic aspect, "Burkinabè Rising" must be filled for 90 percent with it! This is irresistible and, nowadays, I can't imagine another country in Africa where the same spirit, filled with hope, would reign.

Anonymous, United States I enjoyed the spirit of the movie and the country—the struggle for freedom of expression must be constant and vigilant.

Richard M., Slow Food USA An evening of wonderful contrasts: the launch of the Adventure Canada partnership in the stunning Explorers’ Club followed by the screening of kick-ass Iara Lee’s amazing new film Burkinabè Risin about the hopeful revolution in Burkina Faso (the land of honest people), which paints a remarkably chaotic picture of music, dance, art, and food as both hammer and mirror to a society under pressure.

Cory C., United States The people and artists of Burkina Faso are so inspiring! Hopefully your movie will help folks muster up the courage to throw out our own despots. What a beautiful film. My favorite by far was the dancing—I believe his name was Snake. Wow. Incredible.

Bill W., United States Excellent film! Big ups to Iara Lee.

Cinema de Desert, Italy The screening in Milan went well. The place was small and packed with people. Everybody was enthusiastic and nobody expected that Burkina Faso was like that! Thank you for showing a different Africa so that people can open their eyes!

Collin R., United States Just wanted to say what a great film it was! Beautifully shot and edited. Those drone shots really add something! And all the music and musicians featured were super cool. Hope you’re feeling good about it!

Dylan H., United States I was definitely one of those people who didn’t know where Burkina Faso was exactly before I saw this film (though I probably wouldn’t have admitted it). There are such great characters in the film, and it was fascinating to see how their culture was, in many ways, much more similar to American culture than National Geographic or the news would have one believe. I had no idea that there were these types of art movements going on over there and that the artists so effectively use their art for social protest. Quite inspiring, and I learned a lot!

Alexandra L., United States Congratulations, Iara Lee, on winning best documentary at the New York Winter Film Awards! You and your team and the people in your films are inspirational!

Walter T., United States It's an incredible film. The quality of the cinema, the story, and the weaving of the narratives of culture and resistance are very special. Thank you for your work.

Natou T., France This film is well made. It's very lively, colorful, and dynamic, with many images.

Diana B., Croatia I saw your beautiful movie tonight and I want to thank you so much for making me want to see and visit Burkina Faso. The extraordinary people, beautiful art, music, culture, landscape, nature, and even the architecture! I love the slam architecture.

Vera V., Croatia It has been delightful to see and hear you and your passionate work. Thank you!

Adriana B., Brazil It is amazing what you are doing!! Such a hopeful message in the middle of this darkness. The whole documentary is marvelous. We loved it. Everyone loved it and there were huge applause at the end. Two ladies who came to see the movie brought books by Thomas Sankara in English and Spanish. I bought one for myself and made a connection with these woman to learn more and try to do community work. Very inspired by your work! Thank you so much. We are leaving hard times and it is very healthy to feel inspired and not get into an endless lamentation. Hope Brasil will get stronger after this. Thank you one more time for your courageous and clever work, touched by the magic of beauty.

Erwin D., Belgium Thanks for taking me into your fascinating world of film and common interests of creative resistance!

MagdaLena G., Poland Congratulations on a very nice and positive film!

Carla R., Spain Your documentary shows us how resistance and effective change can come in different packages. It filled me with hope. I’m really proud of both your documentaries. Looking forward to see your next work!

Khabane M., Lesotho I attended the screening today. As a filmmaker, I'm really inspired by the style of your story telling. It's unique and moving.

Daniela G., Lesotho So wonderful to have you in Maseru, Lesotho, igniting artists to come together. Thanks for such an inspiring talk yesterday evening!

James F., United States Powerful film! The discontented populace and the progression and power of art, agriculture, dance, and generational wisdom to evoke change! Multiple factors take place over time. Twenty-seven years is a long time to wait for change. Very, very cool insightful film. I left optimistic!

Andreas T. A beautifully photographed and emotionally charged documentary with an extraordinary choice of music (as always in Iara Lee's films) and a cast of unforgettable characters telling a story of political resistance through music, performance art, and activist filmmaking.

William L., United States I saw the film at Lincoln Center and loved it! The response was quite good.

Mayka G., Spain El documental me encantó, es maravillosa tu forma de contar la historia a través del arte de un país, la importancia que tiene la cultura en las transformaciones políticas, el paralelismo que has hecho para contar su historia a través de la cultura es impresionante, y la sensación que me deja este documentales es la importancia del trabajo que estamos haciendo, lo importante que es fomentar la cultura de un país para producir cambios, la dimensión que puede adquirir un arma pacífica para cambiar las cosas. Me ha encantado que muestres las artes tradicionales, las más modernas, la mezcla entre ambas, además en todos sus campos... pintura, escultura, música, danza, performance, slam poetry, graffitis ...

El papel de la mujer en la sociedad adquiere un protagonismo brutal, es la base en la sociedad, una mujer empoderada, al igual que en la saharaui, son los pilares de la sociedad. También me maravilló la importancia de volver a los cultivos, que se imparta en las clases una asignatura que te enseñe la esencia de la madre naturaleza, el trabajo con la tierra, la alimentación ecológica y el aprovechamiento de sus recursos naturales. Me ha recordado mucho a "Life Is Waiting", me ha parecido muy entretenida, amena e interesante, una forma de conocer la historia de un país a través de sus manifestaciones artísticas, no tenía ni idea de la riqueza cultural que existe en Burkina, ni de la mezcla étnica, de religiones, de costumbres, de idiomas ... Y por supuesto tengo que decir que la fotografía es maravillosa, hay planos espectaculares. Habéis hecho un trabajo increíble.

Euritha T., Suriname People loved Black Panther. They were in awe of the movie—and that is okay, of course. But I cannot be inspired by fiction when it comes to the mother continent, so I went to see this movie and found my inspiration. Making a stand, finding integrity, being Muslim and Christian but still fighting for a better future, not just saying God will make a way, but using the strength of the almighty to make a way for yourself. I am going to read about the leader they call Sankara. What a people! What a country! Thank you, Iara Lee. Looking forward to much more!

Bérénice B., France I've just watched the trailer of Burkinabè Rising and words aren't enough to express my emotions and the gratitude I have for you and all the people who contributed to the achievement of this project. I lived in Burkina Faso and assisted with the insurrection. As a young half-Burkinabè, half-French, the heritage, culture, and history of both of my origins is so important to me. Although I haven't seen it yet, I just wanted to say thanks to you and your team because this beautiful project is all about raising awareness, seeing hope for the future and Africa, and, above all, empowering the youth!

Pauline H. Such a privilege to attend such a beautiful, special screening! I learned so much. It's inspiring to hear such beautiful discussions from a filmmaker like you.

laria M., Italy I think that the film is great! Honestly, I wanted to get a ticket and fly to Burkina immediately after! What shocked me most was the rise of the capitalist mentality and the race to get money that corrupted everything. The example of Burkina Faso shown in the film has been very inspiring!

Sirima B., Thailand The place and people are so lovely and enthusiastic. To me, the film shows the power of resistance that casts its shadow everywhere in Burkina Faso—in politics, youth, male, female, music, culture, etc. And under the force of pressure and duress, they've paradoxically helped propel strength, creativity, perseverance, music, slams, and arts in Burkina Faso to full burst. Thank you for making this film! I wish you courage and all the best for future works!

Jasmeet S., Romania It was a full house—about fifty people—and we had a really nice discussion afterwards. The attendees wanted to pass on the message that they really loved it and took some inspiration on how to make small but impactful changes here in Romania.

Kathleen K., Solomon Islands Very inspiring! It captures vibrancy even in hard places. It also resonates with the huge potential youth here have to influence change and make a positive impact. Time is so critical!

Maurice C., Democratic Republic of Congo The screening went really well. Great turn out and rich exchange after the film! The film was excellent. Everyone loved it. The folks from Burkina Faso were really impressed with the manner in which their culture and resistance movement were captured on film.

Yana K., Ukraine I was impressed to see the combination of political issues and art give a good insight into this country! It reminded me a lot of the spirit of our struggle in Maidan. Thank you very much for the screening!

Микола Б., Ukraine I watched the film and learned so much about Burkina Faso! In revolutions, all peoples are the same: all the same dreams and ideals! I want to show your movie in my village!

Oleg C., Ukraine Very interesting! Nice heroes! Great! A lot of the scenes corresponded with the situation in Ukraine.

Shpend B., Albania You should see the Iara Lee documentary showing the struggle of the people of Burkina Faso to preserve their cultural identity! After you see it, you will realize that we in Europe should take Burkina Faso as an example.

Diana L., Albania Amazing idea of showing life in a different way of what we're randomly living. Very lively and joyful. I liked knowing more about the variety of plants and how people collect them—and how happy they are during that process. The film shows a beautiful reality and makes you think, "Oh, I wish I could go there"—not just through the beautiful film but in real life. It wasn't just a watching a documentary but living some beautiful minutes during the film.

Laura B., Italy An engaging film that deserves to be seen.

Do N., Bulgaria Един прекрасен филм на Iara Lee. Пълен с музиката, изкуството, бита и културата на една страна толкова далече от нас, но толкова жива и истинска. Гледайте този филм, за да видите как народа на една бедна страна в Африка се изправя срещу диктатурата и производството на ГМО продукти, как с музика и изкуство изразява своят политически протест, как се преборва за отглеждането на органични продукти и как жените извоюват правото си на работа и образование. Поздравления за Iara и ко-продуцентите от България и успех на филма.