Mohamed Challouf

Scen.: Mohamed Challouf. F.: Nara Keo Kosal. M.: Dario Cavalleri, Mirka Fanti. Mus.: Colombes de la révolution, Alpha Blondy, Les Petits Chanteurs au poing levé, Oger Kabore. Int.: Ousmane Sembène, Souleymane Cissé, Férid Boughedir, Idrissa Ouédraogo, Abderrahmane Sissako. Prod.: Caravanes Productions. DCP. D.: 60’. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

After Thomas Sankara’s tragic assassina­tion on 15 October 1987, many film­makers and journalists, including Haile Gerima and Roberto Silvestri, decided to protest by not going back to Ouaga­dougou and Fespaco. Along with Djibril Diop Mambéty, Taieb Louhichi and many others, we continued our biennial pilgrimage to Burkina Faso’s capital, but we boycotted the film festival’s opening and closing ceremonies with the new president, Blaise Compaoré, orchestrator of Sankara’s death and guilty of ending a great Pan-African utopia. We used those official occasions to gather around the murdered president’s family and express our gratitude and solidarity with them.
For more than a decade, my frustration grew as I saw Fespaco change from being a great meeting place for Pan-African cinema to an immense carnival of tour­ism, business and entertainment, dimin­ishing the domain of film.
In 1999, for the festival’s 30th anni­versary, I decided to pick up the camera and tell the story of Fespaco’s roots using rare archive materials. The hard work of Ousmane Sembène, Tahar Chériaa, Oumarou Ganda, Lionel Ngakane and many other pioneers brought into being this event, which over the years became an important occasion for reflecting on the birth, identity and resilient spirit of African cinema. Using the testimony of its founders and materials from the peri­od, I tried to tell the story of my Ouaga­dougou and my Fespaco.

Mohamed Challouf

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