According to www.cineguimbi.org, Bobo-Dioulasso, with 1 million inhabitants, “is the second city and the cultural capital of Burkina Faso”, but the city no longer has a cinema. So, the director of Ciné Guimbi, Berni Goldbat, records this film at the site where the cinema once stood with all his respondents, all middle-aged and elderly people, backing the big screen where they once watched films as they spoke about their treasured cinema.
The nostalgia is palpable and one of them men says he still kept the souvenirs from those days and is anxiously awaiting the revival of the cinema, which the website says is at the building phase. The site says, “Approximately 50% of the budget has been covered. The reopening of Ciné Guimbi time is set for the end of 2016”.
Getting every interviewee to sit at the dilapidated cinema hall makes the people come alive with memories as many of them narrate their experiences at the movies as young people. One of them says, “Going to the cinema was not a serious thing like going to church.”
It is interesting how a film could help in raising funds for rebuilding a cinema, a testament to what can be accomplished when people have a good grasp of history. Undoubtedly, this use of film to drive projects is one that agents of change can always explore and Berni Goldbat is extolled for his ingenuity.