Boubacar Sangaré
Burkina Faso - Benin - France


At the gold-panning site of Kalgouli in Burkina Faso, sixteen-year-old Rasmané descends more than one hundred metres in small mines to extract gold. Fearful of accidents, plagued by his parents’ doubt, Rasmané makes his way through a fierce adult world hoping to emancipate himself and find a better life—at the cost of his innocence. Gold-panning is corruptive, making one pass brutally from childhood to adulthood—just as, in parallel, it corrupts the natural environment through pollution and destruction. 

1st feature
Director of photography

Isso Emmanuel Bationo


Gladys Joujou

Music Composer

Rémi Durel 


Merveilles Production (Benin)
Faissol Gnonlonfin


Les Films de la Caravane (France)
Madeline Robert

IMEDIA (Burkina Faso)
Fernand Ernest Kabore

Director’s statement

With A Golden Life, I film Bolo’s evolution from sixteen to nineteen years old in the mine galleries as well as in the yaar, where he meets twelve- and thirteen-year-old Missa and Dramane. In these worlds, destinies are similar and futures seem to follow the same path. In the yaar, still shots capture the daily life in a playful and dreamy manner. Little by little, opening wider shows the resemblance that characterises the gold-diggers in their dreams and work. Like the nature that surrounds them, innocence and dreaming crumble as ordeals unfold. The duality of yaar and mine gallery is accompanied by the duality of the depths of the gallery and the exterior of the site to translate the effects of capitalism—which confronts the exploited and the exploiter—as in the sequence where Bolo’s team is worried about being evacuated by the “white man’s machine” that is prospecting. 


Boubacar Sangaré
Boubacar Sangaré

Boubacar Sangaré is a writer-director and a lawyer specialising in film law. In 2015, he co-directed a television documentary on the insurrection in Burkina Faso, then developed the feature-length films A Golden Life and Djéliya, mémoire du mandingue. He has worked as a project manager for Africa at the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’İmage Animée and as a programme manager at TV5Monde Afrique. In 2021, he sat on the international selection committee for Fespaco. In addition to directing, he is working on the legal structuring of the audio-visual market in West Africa. 

Faissol Gnonlonfin
Faissol Gnonlonfin

Beninese producer Faissol Gnonlonfin develops audio-visual and cinematographic works by young African, European and Caribbean writers and directors. He is interested in creative documentaries that are rooted in reality, history and arts and culture. He also produces short and feature-length films for cinema and television series. He supports films by young filmmakers who examine society’s socio-political and economic issues. His productions have been selected for several international film festivals and have received numerous awards. 

Total budget

€357 270

Financing secured

€240 770

Partners attached

CNC – Aide aux Cinémas du Monde, Fonds Jeune Création Francophone, Fonds Image de la Francophonie, TV5 Monde, Périphérie Cinéma Documentaire

Shooting period and locations

March 2017 - March 2022, Kalgouli (Burkina Faso)

Expected delivery

January - February 2023

Stage of post-production

Sound editing, mixing

Looking for

Sales agents, distributors

Other Films in production or post-production