The Burkina Faso Film Festival Fit a President

“It is late afternoon in Ouagadougou, a landlocked city in one of the world’s poorest countries. Forty thousand people are packed tightly into a vast stadium, originally built to celebrate the renaming of Upper Volta as Burkina Faso, “the land of upright people”. A thermometer shows that it is 100˚ in the shade. A posse of soldiers in bright red ceremonial uniforms and gold-braid shoulder pads march forward in two columns, sabres drawn, as a band strikes up the national anthem. Everyone in the stadium stands up – the president is about to arrive. Are we all here to honour visiting royalty? Only when a giant 6ft-square electronic clapperboard is activated does the reality hit home. This is the opening ceremony of Fespaco, the bi-annual celebration of African cinema.”

The Guardian, 10 March 2011, Don Boyd

Click here to read the entire article.

About BFC/A

The Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University was established in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people. The BFC/A's primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions. View all posts by BFC/A

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