Ouagadougou isn’t the first place that comes to mind when one considers the glitzy world of movies, yet Burkina Faso‘s capital has hosted the pan-African film festival Fespaco for more than 40 years and showcases some of the best talent on the continent. Every two years, the streets of Ouaga, as the city is known, liven up to the beat of djembe drums as thousands of film fans fill the city’s maquis (open air barbecues) and exchange silver-screen banter with the Ouagadoulais.
The film projections are often grainy and the sound distorted, yet the cinemas are packed. And this year, Fespaco, which runs until 2 March, is something different — a film festival with a conscience. The theme is African cinema and public policy, and more than 100 films are being screened, of which 20 will be competing for the coveted Etalon d’Or. Many of films cover some of the most hotly debated topics in Africa and elsewhere. Here’s a selection of the films:
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