Screening Perception – Limiting Expectations for African cinema

Screening-perception-limiting-expectations-for-African-film

There are certain things to be expected from African cinema. You will see exploitation by foreign forces, and poverty as a result, and you will see people afflicted by HIV/AIDS. It is Africa afterall. 

This is the impression a martian may have sitting in on a Q&A that I experienced during a film I saw that was part of the ongoing Film Africa festival.

More than 50 films shown across several London arthouse cinemas, many of them critically acclaimed, the festival aims to project a different view of the continent. One where Africans themselves determine how they will be represented. In such a liberal context, I was somewhat surprised to encounter such closed-minded views as the ones mentioned above.

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Burkina Faso independence day

Today, Burkina Faso celebrates 50 years of independence (50 is a popular anniversary for the continent this year!)

In many ways the home of African cinema, Burkina Faso hosts the film festival FESPACO (Festival Panafrican du Cinéma et de la Télévison de Ouagadougou) every 2 years. Several Burkinabè have earned international recognition and acclaim, including Gaston Kaboré, Idrissa Ouedraogo, S. Pierre Yameogo and Dani Kouyaté.

The following are short clips from movies by Burkinabè filmmakers:

 

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