Friday 24.5. / 6.30 pm / Dokukino KIC

A Golden Life /

Burkina Faso/Benin/France, 2023, 85'
Director: Boubacar Sangare · Screenplay: Boubacar Sangare · Photography: Isso Emmanuel Bationo · Editing: Gladys Joujou · Production: Fernand Ernest Kaboré, Faissol Gnonlonfin, Madeline Robert (Imedia, Merveilles Productions, Les Films de la caravane)

Day to day, teenage Rasmané and his peers work from dawn to dusk in gold mines in Burkina Faso. Without safety gear and in the most unsafe working conditions, they toil a hundred meters underground to exhaustion, armed only with pickaxes to reach the coveted gold. No one cares that they are minors (an estimated 300,000 miners in Burkina Faso are minors). They are simply left to fend for themselves, entirely relying on themselves to extract gold if they want to be paid for their work. We gain a detailed image of how the mines operate on a daily basis and the constant risks involved. The camera never acts voyeuristically or attempts to evoke pity – it mostly stays with Rasmané, trying to capture his emotions as he goes about his work and communicates with various supervisors on-site. In rare moments of leisure, we see him and his colleagues cooking, eating, and discussing their aspirations, coming-of-age experiences, and family. The director establishes an intimate and egalitarian relationship with those around him, full of trust and mutual respect; towards the end of the film, we also learn why.

Awards and festivals:

Berlinale Forum (2023) – world premiere; Dokufest (2023) – Human Rights Award; Docs Ireland (2023) – Best Observational Documentary; FICMEC (2023) – Special Recognition, Audience Award; Movies That Matter (2023); Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (2024) – Best Film


Boubacar Sangaré is a director from Burkina Faso. He has directed four short films and co-directed a television documentary film. A Golden Life is his first feature-length documentary. He is currently developing several other projects, including the documentary Djéliya, Memory of Manding (selected for La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde at the Cannes Film Festival 2022) and two feature-length fiction films: Le nom qu’on te donne and Les dieux délinquants.