Adama, The Fulani Magician

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Adama Hamidou, performer

Adama Hamidou, magician extraordinaire

16mm. Color. 22 minutes.
Available in DVD, VHS video and 16mm film.
With Moustapha Thiombiano and Lamine Keita.
Music by Oger Kabore.
Versions in English and French.
New English version, with West African Sign Language sequences subtitled for the Deaf, the Hearing Impaired and anyone interested in learning West African Sign Language
Director-Camera-Editor: Taale Laafi Rosellini
Sound: Kathleen Ann Johnson, Boyo Roger Siene
Co-editors: Linda Moss, Nancy Nigrosh

Adama Hamidou, a renowned deaf West African street performer and practitioner of the ancient Yan Taori magic tradition, spreads wonder and delight among the people of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

As a deaf man, Adama has found a unique, witty means of communication. Ritual and tradition unfold as Adama prepares himself for magic. The film draws an intimate portrait of the man and his culture through both performance sequences and interviews in which Adama tells his own story of how he became deaf and how he became a magician, in West African Sign Language. Adama’s exuberance is infectious, his magical powers unforgettable.

Awards and Premieres
    • Blue Ribbon Award, American Film Festival. (First Place, Anthropology/Ethnography category)
    • Best Documentary, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Student Film Competition, Southern California Region.
    • Premio Speciale Award, Associazione Ricreativa Culturale Italiana, Florence, Italy.
    • World Premiere, Filmex (Los Angeles International Film Exposition—that year it was the biggest film festival in the USA).
    • European Premiere, Festival dei Popoli (the biggest documentary film festival on the planet).
    • African Premiere, FESPACO (Festival Panafricain du Cinéma de Ouagadougou)—the biggest Black film festival on the planet.


Adama, The Fulani Magician is a compact and joyous ethnographic film…Communicating with great warmth and wit in West African sign language, Adama absolutely entrances his audiences.”
—John Tarnoff, Critic, Filmex, Los Angeles International Film Exposition.
“…Colorful street performer of ancient Yan-Taorimagic, Adama Hamidou enjoys an enthusiastic following among the people of Ouagadougou…an engaging portrait of this happy-spirited young man, who also happens to be deaf. The filmmaker transcends the hackneyed anthropological ant-farm approach to his subject and creates a warm, informal film that celebrates the universality of visual communication.”
—Donna Marie Matson, Writer, The Hollywood DramaLogue.

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For Personal Viewing (Does not include performance rights):

For Public Libraries (Does not include performance rights):

For Educational Institutions (Includes performance rights for class or group screenings):

Written permission from producer required for all broadcast screenings.


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