‘Fragile’ African cinema clinging on at Cannes; with Ethiopian film making first appearance

by Peter D. Marshall

by M&G Africa.

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AFRICA’S “fragile” cinema has kept a toe-hold at the Cannes Film Festival, with a veteran Malian director and the first-ever Ethiopian as the continent’s only entries in the official selection.

“I feel very grateful, lucky and proud to represent this part of the world,” said Yared Zeleke, 36, whose movie “Lamb” became the first Ethiopian flick selected for the world’s premier film festival.

The only other African director among the 50-odd films in the official selection was Souleymane Cisse, a 75-year-old Malian who won the third-place jury prize in 1987 for “Yeelan”.

“We are part of the privileged few,” said Cisse, who presented his film “Oka” (“The House”), a drama about four grown-up sisters who are expelled from their home by a corrupt judge. Cisse said he wanted to discuss “the corruption of officials that leads to violence” in his country.

He hoped his presence was not linked to his being from Africa. “We have a sacred responsibility to make quality films, otherwise it’s better not to represent Africa at all.”

African films have made it into the top competition for the Palme d’Or in the last two years, with Chad’s “Grigris” in 2013 and the much-lauded film about radical Islam, “Timbuktu”, last year.

Read the rest of this article from MGAfrica.

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