Friday, April 20, 2007

Un Certain matin

1991, Burkina Faso, directed by Fanta Régina Nacro

Fanta Régina Nacro's first short film is, by her own account, an amalgam of two of her major cinematic influences, Chaplin and Hitchcock, a combination of slapstick and tension that is more successful with regard to the former than the latter. The film's central gag is a clever visual joke that plays with our expectations of what a film from Africa will deliver; the punchline is set up with a scene that appears to be from a timeless, pre-colonial Africa, with events quickly going in unexpected directions. Nacro's film is a commentary, among other things, on the influence of filmmakers on African communities, and a plea for communication and understanding - as well as something of a love letter to the idea of cinema.

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