An Opera of the World (2017) w/ Manthia Diawara in Person: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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An Opera of the World (2017) w/ Manthia Diawara in Person

An Opera of the World
7 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Sat February 2, 2019
7 PM


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


An Opera of the World
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 7:00 PM FREE
(Manthia Diawara, 2017, Portugal/USA/Mali, digital, 70 min.)

A world-renowned scholar, filmmaker, and theorist of cultural hybridity, Manthia Diawara left Mali at the age of 19, emigrating to France and later to the United States. He returned to Mali in 2008 to film rehearsals for Bintou Were, a Sahel Opera that tells the story of northward migration. Diawara frames this moving performance between interviews (including discussions with filmmaker Alexander Kluge, novelist Fatou Diome and sociologist Nicole Lapierre), personal commentary, and archival footage that documents the cycles of migration throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. The result is a cinematic essay as free-ranging, and as inspiring, as the borderless society he imagines.

In person: filmmaker and NYU Professor of Cinema Studies Manthia Diawara

Block Cinema screenings are first-come, first-served. We recommend arriving early to ensure a seat.

Part of the film series
Personal Passages: African Filmmakers in Europe

Personal Passages responds to the concurrent Block exhibitions CARAVANS OF GOLD and ISAAC JULIEN: THE LEOPARD (WESTERN UNION: SMALL BOATS) through a series of films which illuminate 20th and 21st century migrant experiences across the Mediterranean. While dozens of films have been made by European filmmakers addressing the challenges faced by refugees and immigrants to Europe, the films in this series, made by Tunisian, Mauritanian and Malian emigré filmmakers, all provide more intimate perspectives on these experiences of displacement and diaspora.

Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at