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African films @ The 53rd London film Festival 14-29 0ct 2009

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Fire of Mansaré (Director, Mansour Sora Wade. Senagal)
Mon 19| 20:30| NFT2,
Tue 20| 16:15| NFT3,
Fri 23| 16:30| Ritzy Screen 2

Mansour Sora Wade presents a story about desire, choice and the freedom (or lack of it) of young people forced into a traditional practice where a male tags a girl at birth for marriage in adulthood.

Known mainly for his award-winning short films, Mansour Sora Wade delivers a second feature film as a story about desire, choice and the freedom (or lack of it) of young people forced into a traditional practice where a male tags a girl at birth for marriage in adulthood. Mathias returns triumphant to Mansaré, his native city, after having amassed a fortune abroad over a few years.

 

The Absence  (Directed by Mama Keita. Senagal and France)
Thu 15| 20:30| NFT2
Fri 16| 16:00| NFT2
An intense drama of loss, solitude, love and hope.

October 12, 2009 Posted by | africa, african, world cinema, film festival, entertainment, feature films | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Must watch – Guelwaar (1993)

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Title: Guelwaar
Running Time: 115 Minutes
Status: Released
Country: Senegal
Genre: Drama, Comedy

A beautiful movie written and directed by Ousmane Sembene one of Africa’s best film makers. Set in Senegal, this murder mystery unfolds around the death of a district leader whose family gathers for the funeral.

Sambene influenced a lot of West African film makers, if you’ve seen the excellent recent movie Bamako you’ll recognize his style of story-telling immediately.

New York Times Review (spoilers) 4/5

This powerful, pointed and multi-layered political satire from Senegal’s great director Ousman Sembene will provide considerable food for thought; especially amongst those who consider foreign charity a beneficial humanitarian action. It also provides insight into Sembene’s thoughts on cultural genocide, AIDS, and corruption. The story centers around the funeral services of the outspoken Pierre Henri Thioune or Guelwaar (meaning Noble One) as his friends and family call him. Guelwaar was a prominent Catholic, the holdover religion from the now ousted French colonialists, who believed that most of his country’s problems stem not from racism, nor even from colonialism, but from losing their self-respect by willingly accepting the food and supplies donated to impoverished Senegal by richer countries for the past three decades. Guelwaar maintained that these hand-outs have enslaved his people by causing corruption amongst those who exploit the international good-will for their own gain. It is something that destroyed the country’s economy and has kept corrupt officials involved promote continued tension between Muslims and Catholics to keep the people fighting. Guelwaar’s inflammatory opinions may well have caused his mysterious death. Afterward many important people come to visit the deceased’s surviving family which is comprised of Nogoy Marie, his wife, Sophie, his daughter who sells her body in Dakar, and Barthelemy, his eldest son who loves the French and lives in Paris. His second son, Aloys is crippled and lives with his mother. All gather to mourn Guelwaar’s death. The trouble begins when his corpse suddenly disappears from the town funeral home. Barthalemy calls the police and Officer Gora, a Muslim is sent to investigate. Gora is no fan of Guelwaar and his suspicious activities, but he always respected him. He despises Barthelemy because he has abandoned his culture in favor of French to the point that he refuses to speak anything but French. Tensions in town mount as rumors fly about the reason for the corpse’s disappearance. But then Gora discovers that Guelwaar’s body was accidentally buried in a Muslim cemetery and had nothing to do with ideological differences. Still, this is not the end, for now the Catholics want his body back for a proper burial while the Muslims refuse to defile their sacred burial ground by digging up the corpse.

Rest here: http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/132938/Guelwaar/overview

September 4, 2009 Posted by | 1, africa, african, world cinema, film festival | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment