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Martin Scorsese and the African Film Heritage Project Are Bringing Four Vital Films Home

The restorations are screening on their home continent for the first time.

Soleil Ô

“Soleil Ô”

The African Film Heritage Project has announced that it will screen restorations of four African films on their home continent for the first time as part of the 50th anniversary of the Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou. THE AFHP is a partnership between the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, along with its affiliate archive the Cineteca di Bologna, and UNESCO. The movies in question are Med Hondo’s “Soleil Ô” (1970), Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamima’s “Chronique des années de braise” (1975), Timité Bassori’s “La Femme au couteau” (1969), and Jean-Pierre Dikongue-Pipa’s “Muna Moto” (1975).

The AFHP will also present seven African films previously restored by Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, including work by the likes of Ousmane Sembene, Djibril Diop Mambety, Shadi Abdel Salam and Ahmed El Maanouni.

“I can’t tell you how really deeply inspired and excited I am by African films; ‘Yeelen,’ ‘Touki Bouki,’ ‘Trances,’ ‘La Noire De…,’ ‘Al Momia,’ ‘Bamako,’” said Scorsese in a statement. “I keep going back to these pictures and each time the experience is richer. My appreciation just keeps growing for the talent, the power, and the wisdom of African cinema. Many thanks to FESPACO for its truly amazing work, and here’s to 50 more years.”

“To major written and oral literary texts, philosophical treatises, ancient legal texts, proverbs and maxims, texts of history and historiography, architectural monuments, and classics of African history of art and culture we are pleased to add the cinema, this form of forms,” said FEPACI’s Aboubakar Sanogo.

“Through it, African filmmakers have chosen to be the lucid, critical and empathetic conscience of their continent, and indeed of the world itself. They have refused to be cynical about the world. They have put their faith in and cast their lot with the human, offering a genuine cinematic humanism, rooted in resilience and optimism in the coming of better futures.”

FESPACO takes place from February 23 to March 2.

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