Friday, April 20, 2007

Fanta Régina Nacro

Fanta Régina Nacro is a filmmaker from Burkina Faso. She visited my African Literature class on Thursday to discuss her career, and her film La Nuit de la Vérité. Unfortunately, our class had not seen her film before she arrived.

It played this evening at the Harvard Film Archive. I did not attend--too much going on--but I do plan to see this film. It sounds very interesting, and we were told one must have a strong stomach, as the scenes of violence are very vivid. Nacro was asked why she chose to be so explicit with the scenes of death and torture (there is a scene where a man is roasted over a fire on a spit like an animal--this actually happened in real life to her uncle.) She replied that she reflected a lot on this issue, and ultimately decided that people should see the reality of what human beings do to each other. The way in which the media censors the most violent images, she feels, prevents people from being impacted by the shocking reality.

In a series of short films about AIDS, Nacro made a different decision, after having seen many films that focused on the grim and depressing realities of the disease. She said that she left those films wanting to distract herself from the issue because it was so painful. She felt that humor could be used to disseminate information about the virus, and to plant the information in people's minds without a negative association.

Nacro expressed her strong feeling that film is one of the most vital and important media for a country's culture, because of its role in sharing information and creating dialogue on important issues.

Night of Truth (La Nuit de la Vérité, 2004) is the African director Fanta Régina Nacro's first full length film.

Set in a fictional West-African country, this film tells the story of the night of reconciliation between two ethnic groups, the Nayak and the Bonandes. After ten years of war and much bloodshed, Theo, leader of the Bonandes, invites the Nayak president to come and make peace. However things don't go as smoothly as planned.

Premier long-métrage de Fanta Régina Nacro. C'est la première fiction réalisée par une femme qui aborde de l'intérieur le sujet des guerres ethniques en Afrique. Le film est aussi une réflexion sur la place et l'influence des femmes face aux conflits politiques et humains.

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