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rédacteur
Télesphore Mba Bizo
publié le
26/01/2008
films, artistes, structures ou événements liés à ce compte rendu de festival
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Africa at the 37th International Film Festival Rotterdam
(Correspondance, en anglais)
There are thousands of attractions at the 37th edition of IFFR. Images from Africa are also part of the whole show. However, quality attendance in theaters for the public screenings of these films from home is rather low.

A desert! This word, full of meaning, describes best the presence of African films in Rotterdam 2008. The programming avails a handful of productions from that continent. Conspicuously, the most awaited movie in this section is Zimbabwe. The Daily Tiger, IFFR's special tabloid for the occasion, provided wide room for South-African born director Darrell James Roodt's feature film on January 24, 2008. It reads on page 22: "The disastrous political, social and economic state of Zimbabwe under de facto dictatorship of Robert Mugabe has been making international news lately. This drama looks at the effect the situation in the neighbouring South-Africa, which receives 40,000 immigrants a month looking for work and food". IFFR's focus is chiefly shifted to Zimbabwe as it keeps making headlines in the Netherlands. The country is rather notoriously known for its alleged "human rights abuse". The commitment of this film in disclosing the hardship of day-to-day life of Zimbabwean Black citizens promotes the portrayal of such an ill-repute. However, the movie can be challenged or questioned for siding with the Western ideology that dictates what democracy actually should be. Yet, the African voice in the film remains silent on components of a contextualized concept of democracy capable of backing the stands of the present regime that reigns supreme in Harare. In the end, Zimbabwe is a citizen-friendly and politically sensitive film as it targets:"Not only one woman's story, but the story of many young Zimbabweans", The Daily Tiger further states. South-Africa has a second product at IFFR. It is intitled Ras Star. IFFR's team failed to provide information about it. But this shortcoming does not mean that there is nothing to write home about. Some few other countries do allow African festival goers to beat their chest.

Morocco: Lifting the Bar High
This Arab nation is the first when it comes to quantitative counting of films at IFFR 2008 as it offers three contributions to the show. Burned Hearts is a feature film come back by cult director El Maanouni. The young Architect Amin embarks on a journey from Paris to Morocco to visit his dying uncle. Once in his country, he starts facing unpleasant situations. Marrakech Inshallah is actually an American movie by Steffen and Christian Pierce. It is categorized Moroccan thanks to the setting. It is, indeed, in the said country that the film was shot. It tells the classical story of two Moroccan brothers who flee the poor countryside to look for happiness in big cities. And Nûba d'or et de lumière is a musical film about the history of the nûba, that is XIV century old Arab and Andalusian music well known in North Africa as El Ala.

Algeria and Egypt: One Country One Movie
These two nations do exist at IFFR thanks their one film per country. On one hand, Algeria presents La maison jaune by Amor Hakkar. It is all about a 87-minute poetic and realistic auteur story of a Berber farming family in Algeria. In a word, the family tries to adapt to the situation after the death of the eldest son. On the other hand, Egypt provides space for popular cinema. The title Chaos itself is widely expressive of the expectations of both the director and public. Youssef Chahine narrates the rebellion of a young woman against the corrupt police chief who has an eye on her. The screenplay is filled with opposite results. The film is socially critical and the sketch colourful. Justice is victorious.

Sad Note: No Home Film is Nominated
VPRO Tiger Awards gives to prominence to first and second feature films. 15 movies have been selected in this category. Award-winning films will be offered Euros 15, 000 coupled with a guaranteed theatrical distribution in the Netherlands. Another section of Tiger Awards dwells on short films. About 20 productions are competing. Africa is conspicuously absent in these two widely publicized groups. It is normal. IFFR is an international film festival. It is not a world show. Translation: International Film Festival Rotterdam is not bound to programme any film in each competition just for the sake of pleasing all the continents. Here, it is claimed, quality has a say. Since African films are already known quantitatively, what is their quality in Rotterdam? That is the question to be answered by the end IFFR come February 3, 2008.

Télesphore MBA BIZO
at Rotterdam

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   liens films

Chaos (Le) [réal. Chahine] 2007
Youssef Chahine, Khaled Youssef

Cœurs brûlés (Les) 2006
Ahmed El Maânouni

Maison jaune (La) 2007
Amor Hakkar

Marrakech Inshallah 2007
Steffen Fisker Pierce, Christian Pierce

Nûba d'or et de lumière 2007
Izza Génini

Ras Star 2006
Wanuri Kahiu

Zimbabwe 2008
Darrell James Roodt


   liens artistes

Chahine Youssef


El Maânouni Ahmed


Génini Guillaume


Génini Izza


Hakkar Amor


Kahiu Wanuri


Pierce Christian


Pierce Steffen Fisker


Roodt Darrell James


Youssef Khaled


   vnements

23/01/2008 > 03/02/2008
festival |Pays-Bas |
Festival International du Fllm de Rotterdam 2008 (Iffr)
37ème édition

   liens structures

2M-TV
Maroc | CASABLANCA

3B Productions
France | PARIS

Dada Productions
Kenya | NAIROBI

Dv8 Films
Afrique du Sud | JOHANNESBURG - Rosebank

France 2 Cinéma (ex France Films A2)
France | PARIS

KS VISIONS
France | PARIS

Misr International Films
Égypte | LE CAIRE

Ohra (ex Sogeav)
France | PARIS

Pierce Productions
États-Unis | BELMONT

Pyramide international
France | Paris

Rabii Films Productions
Maroc | CASABLANCA

Raddad productions
Maroc | MARRAKECH

Sarah films
France | Besançon

Tadrart Films
France | PARIS

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