Thomas Sankara: The Upright Man

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Thomas Sankara: The Upright Man
Directed byRobin Shuffield
Screenplay byRobin Shuffield
Produced byZORN Production
CinematographyMarc Ridley, Robin Shuffield
Edited bySamuel Gantier, Serge Dietrich
Music byCyril Orcel
Release date
Running time
52 minutes

Thomas Sankara: The Upright Man (French:Thomas Sankara, l'homme intègre) was a 2006 documentary film about Thomas Sankara, former president of Burkina Faso. Thomas Sankara was known as "the African Che", and became famous in Africa due to his altruistic beliefs. Sankara became president at the age of 34 and served from 1983 to 1987. He renamed the country from the French colonial Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, "Land of Upright Men." This film sheds light on the impact that Sankara and his politics made on Burkina Faso and Africa in general. [1] [2]

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Burkina Faso Country in West Africa

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa with an area of 274,200 km2 (105,900 sq mi), bordered by Mali to the northwest, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and the Ivory Coast to the southwest. It has a population of 20,321,378. Previously called Republic of Upper Volta (1958–1984), it was renamed Burkina Faso by President Thomas Sankara. Its citizens are known as Burkinabè, and its capital and largest city is Ouagadougou.

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Jean-Baptiste Philippe Ouédraogo, also referred to by his initials JBO, is a Burkinabé physician and retired military officer who served as President of Upper Volta from 8 November 1982 to 4 August 1983. He has since mediated a few national political disputes and operates a clinic in Somgandé.

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Youssouf Ouédraogo was a Burkinabé politician. In 1992 he became the first Prime Minister of Burkina Faso since 1983, serving from 16 June 1992 to 22 March 1994. Ouédraogo, a member of the ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), later served as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from January 1999 to June 2007.

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Chantal Compaoré, born Chantal Terrasson de Fougères is the Franco-Ivorian wife of former President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso. Born in the Dabou, Ivory Coast, after becoming the First Lady in 1987 she spent much of her time on charity work in Burkina Faso. Her husband, who came to power in a bloody 1987 military coup, was overthrown in the 2014 Burkinabé uprising. Chantal Compaoré was subsequently forced to flee to her home country, going into exile together with her husband.


Sankarism is a term sometimes applied to denote a left-wing ideological trend within the politics of Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, as well as the policies of the military government led by Captain Thomas Sankara. Sankara came to power in what was then the Republic of Upper Volta in a popularly supported 1983 military coup, and ruled until his assassination in a coup led by Blaise Compaoré in 1987.

The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution were a system of local revolutionary cells, established in Burkina Faso by the Marxist-Leninist and pan-Africanist leader Thomas Sankara, President of the country from 1983 until his assassination in 1987. Committees were established in each workplace. They were inspired by the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution in Cuba, and functioned as "organs of political and social control."

The Popular Revolutionary Tribunals were a system of courts, through which the workers and peasants of Burkina Faso were intended to be able to participate in and monitor the trials of criminals in the new Marxist and pan-Africanist government of Thomas Sankara and his National Council for the Revolution. Among these were members of the previous government, corrupt officials, "lazy workers", and supposed counter-revolutionaries.

Mariam Sankara is the widow of Thomas Sankara, the President of Burkina Faso from 4 August 1983 until his assassination on 15 October 1987. During this time she was First Lady of the country. Thomas Sankara, a Marxist and pan-Africanist army officer, became President of what was then known as the Republic of Upper Volta after a military coup in August 1983. He carried out what he proclaimed to be, the "Democratic and Popular Revolution", implementing many radical reforms. Sankara was killed in a coup in October 1987, orchestrated by his former friend and colleague Blaise Compaoré.

Burkina Faso–Libya relations Bilateral relations

Burkina Faso–Libya relations refers to the current and historical relationship between State of Libya and the Republic of Burkina Faso. Libya maintains an embassy in the Burkinabé capital of Ouagadougou, and Burkina Faso one in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

The Le Balai Citoyen is a political grassroots movement in Burkina Faso, which was part of the opposition against President Blaise Compaoré. It was co-founded by two musicians, reggae artist Sams’K Le Jah and rapper Serge Bambara ("Smockey") in the Summer of 2013. They organized several protests in early 2014, for example hosting a joint rally with the newly formed Movement of People for Progress, filling a 35,000-capacity sports stadium to its rafters.

Karim Sama, more commonly known by his stage name Sams'K Le Jah, is a reggae musician, radio host and political activist from Burkina Faso. He was born in the neighbouring Ivory Coast, before coming to Burkina Faso in 1985. During his teens he was a member of the Pioneers of the Revolution, a youth movement created by Captain Thomas Sankara, a radical left-wing revolutionary who came to power in 1983 military coup. A member of the Rastafari movement as well as a Sankarist, he upholds both Sankara and Haile Selassie.

Joséphine Ouédraogo is a Burkinabé sociologist and politician. She served as Minister of Justice of Burkina Faso from 2014 to 2016.

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The 1987 Burkina Faso coup d'état was a bloody military coup in Burkina Faso, which took place on 15 October 1987. The coup was organized by Captain Blaise Compaoré against incumbent far-left President Captain Thomas Sankara, his former friend and associate during the 1983 upheaval.

On 4 August 1983 a coup d'état was launched in the Republic of Upper Volta in an event sometimes referred to as the August revolution or Burkinabé revolution. It was carried out by radical elements of the army led by Thomas Sankara and Blaise Compaoré, against the regime of Major Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo. Ouédraogo had been brought to power in a 1982 coup with the Conseil de Salut du Peuple (CSP), body composed of military officials of different ideological backgrounds. The CSP chose Sankara as Prime Minister of Upper Volta in January 1983. As his tenure progressed, Ouédraogo found himself unable to reconcile the conservative and radical factions of the CSP, whose disagreements were leading to a political stalemate. On 16 May he purged his government of pro-Libyan and anti-French elements, disbanded the CSP, and had Sankara and several other important officials arrested. This move sparked discontent among Sankara's supporters. Sankara was eventually released while one officer, Compaoré, began to organise military resistance to the government.

Odile Sankara is a Burkinabé artist, actress, playwright and director. She the President of the Récréâtrales and a younger sister to the late revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara.


  1. Delafin, Antoinette (15 October 2007). "Thomas Sankara crève l'écran". Radio France Internationale (in French). Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  2. "Thomas Sankara: The Upright Man". California Newsreel . Retrieved 15 March 2012.