Africa

Who is Isaach de Bankoolé? The story of Ivorian actor

Born on August 12, 1957, in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, Zachari Bankolé dit Isaac de Bankolé is an Ivorian actor whose talent is internationally recognized. His life is a real journey through the worlds of passion.

While his parents are from Benin, Isaach de Bankolé was born in Côte d’Ivoire in 1957. But at 17, he was sent to Paris to study to become an airplane pilot. However, this is where the story begins for the young man.

Who is Isaach de Bankoolé? The story of Ivorian actor
Isaach de Bankoolé

A graduate in mathematics, he nevertheless decided to turn to comedy and joined the Cours Simon. Not a very logical choice when you know the initial ambitions and the plan it was then responsible for fulfilling.

Isaach de Bankolé appeared on the screen for the first time in 1984. He is in the film L’Arbalète and L’Addition. Sometime later, the man acquired sufficient notoriety thanks to the success of Black Mic Mac, which made a funny portrait of the black community in Paris signed by Thomas Gilou: it is the door of paradise because from there Isaach de bankolé career takes a decisive turn.

He began filmmaking in 1986 with Black Mic-Mac by Thomas Gilou, for which he obtained the Cesar for best male upcoming actor in 1987.

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He featured in other comedies, from Keufs to Vanille fraise. Still, the two Claires of author cinema quickly spot him, who works in the theater with Chéreau and Mesguich: Devers (Black and White) and especially Denis. They offer him two of his most beautiful roles, the boy of a French family settled in Cameroon in Chocolat (1988) and an organizer of cockfights in S’en fout la mort (1990).

At the beginning of the 90s, there was a great bond between Bankolé and an American friend of Claire Denis, Jim Jarmusch. He camps the taxi driver of a blind Beatrice Dalle in Night on Earth and a warm and joking ice-cream seller in Ghost Dog (1999).

This public actor tours with the Portuguese Pedro Costa, the Malian Sissoko (Beaten, his first experience in Africa), and the Dane Lars von Trier – he plays a rebellious and sensual slave in Manderlay (2005).

Lived since 1997 in the United States, he signed, in 2000, a documentary on his wife, the singer Cassandra Wilson, made his debut as a producer (Homework, 2004) and joined the casting of Miami Vice by Michael Mann (2006).

In April 2007, he received the distinction of Knight of the Legion of Honor.

The man who has made African pride these days has been living in the United States for several years. Isaach De Bankolé was married to the American jazz singer Cassandra Wilson. He is in all a cosmopolitan actor who turns at the same time under the direction of European, American, and African directors. He was finally classified among the “100 personalities of the African diaspora” by the pan-African magazine Jeune Afrique.

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Isaach de Bankolé filmography

  • 2019: Tim Story’s Schaft
  • 2018: Black Panther by Ryan Coogler
  • 2013: Mother of George by Andrew Dosunmu
  • 2012: Etienne Faure’s Désordres
  • 2010: White material by Claire Denis
  • 2009: The limits of control by Jim Jarmusch
  • 2006: Miami Vice by Michael Mann
  • 2006: Martin Campbell Casino Royale
  • 2007: Julian Schnabel’s spacesuit and butterfly
  • 2005: Manderlay by Lars von Trier
  • 2003: Coffee and cigarettes by Jim Jarmusch
  • 1999: Ghost dog, the way of the samurai by Jim Jarmusch
  • 1998: The daughter of a soldier never cries of James Ivory
  • 1991: Night on earth by Jim Jarmusch
  • 1989: Vanilla strawberry by Gérard Oury
  • 1988: Claire Denis’ chocolate
  • 1987: Josiane Balasko’s keufs
  • 1986: Black mic-mac by Thomas Gilou

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