5 best films from FESPACO

By Frieda Ekotto in Ouagadougou
Posted on Wednesday, 6 April 2011 10:21

Cameroonian writer Frieda Ekotto rounds-up five of the best films on display at the biannual African film festival in Ouagadougou

Un Pas en Avant: les Dessous de la Corruption
Sylvestre Amoussou (Benin, 2010)?

The opening film of ­FESPACO 2011 is a “pedagogical document to trigger societal debate” in the words of Amoussou. It examines a world rotten with corruption and bad governance where people in power shamelessly divert humanitarian aid away from the destitute.

Les Oubliés de l’Histoire?
Hassan Benjelloun (Morocco, 2010)?

This film deals with immigration, prostitution and tradition. Azouz immigrates to Belgium after promising his fiancée Yamina that he will return to marry her. But her parents realise she is no longer a virgin and she is forced to flee her village and becomes trapped in a prostitution ring.

Le Poids du Serment ?Kollo
Daniel Sanou (Burkina Faso, 2010)?

This 90-minute feature film delves into the disturbed mind of a Dozo, a traditional hunter, who loses his memory and then hesitates between going back to his traditional spiritual beliefs or accepting a modern religion. Sanou shows how the clash of religions is permanent within African culture.

Telegraph ?to the Sky?
Teddy Mattera ?(South Africa, 2010)

Through the eyes of a former soldier, this short film inspired by the poetry of Sandile Dikeni explores trauma in post-apartheid South Africa with force and intelligence. Smart and searching, it was unquestionably the most original short film shown at ­FESPACO this year.

The Witches of Gambaga ?
Yaba Badoe ?(Ghana, 2011)?

Named for the village where they have found sanctuary, this excellent documentary is about the injustice faced by women accused of witchcraft, often by members of their own families. Badoe asks the important question: why is the Ghanaian government not interested in intervening?

This article was first published in the April 2011 edition of The Africa Report.

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