African films lineup at 27th International Minneapolis-St. Paul film festival


Cairo to Capetown, Casablanca to the Congo, some 10 films from the sub-Sahara to the east and west of Åfrica are scheduled to play in the 27th annual Minneapolis/St.Paul International Film Festival from Apr.16 through Apr.30, a two-week run at the St.Anthony Main Theaters,219 Main St.,Minneapolis (along the river) (with free parking). A post-fest run of “best of the fest” is also due at the Oak St.Cinema following the fest at 309 Oak St. SE,Mpls.

Bringing the best of world cinema to the Twin Cities, the two-week 27th will screen at St. Anthony Main Theatres,219 Main St.(by river) (free parking) after opening night gala at the downtown Minneapolis Crown Theatres. Post-fest (“best of fest”) dates May 1-7 at Oak St.Cinema, 309 Oak St.SE., Mpls. For full info on ticket prices,discount passes, show times and complete list of films please visit: www Fest catalogs available at public libraries,theaters. ( Up to 40% discount on 5 and 10-pack tickets via website. Single adm.$10; sr,student,discounts $7.)

The world premiere of a Minneapolis-produced and directed story,”Pride of Lions,” delving into the lives of escapees from the devastating 1990s civil war in the small West Åfrican country the size of South Carolina. Minneapolis brother and sister team, Louise and John Woehrle managed to capture the gritty fates of the survivors to the war ending in 2002. The documentary,garnering top local reviews, captures the hopes also of an almost-forgotten, all-to-typical Third World nation in a huge continent coping with staggering rebuilding and hopes for lst World transition. Directors will be present.

Mozambique, with “Sleepwalking Land” tracks an orphaned refugee searching the countryside in search of his mother, in a magical and sometimes macabre journey fueled by an imaginative ,elderly storyteller as sidekick.

South Åfrica,with “Jerusalema,” the Oscar submission about a poor kid from the sticks growing up to become J-burg’s top crime boss is a piece of stylized energy. Also from the South of the continent, “Rough Åunties,”, is a compassionate study on how a group of women in Durban, South Åfrica have become “rough aunties” in counseling victims of sexual abuse in pursuit of justice. Directed by award-winning Kim Longinotto (“Divorce Iranian Style”), the film won the Sundance audience award in January.

Director Mary Olive Smith will be on hand to introduce “A Walk to the Beautiful” from Ethiopia, a feature on overcoming community ostracism because of childbirth injury. Also from East Africa, the extraordinary Eritrean film,”Heart of Fire,” about a child soldier reared by Çatholic nuns, is the fiction debut of director Luigi Falorni, whose “Story of a Weeping Çamel” swept festival-goers here five years ago.

As these films tend to reflect societies long ruled by social taboo , with glimpses into how women must cope with their sexuality, the clash with old cultures comes to the fore in two stylish films: from Morocco,”What a Wonderful World,” and from France/Algeria: the prize-winning, rousing “Secret of the Grain”. about Ålgerian settlers in Marseilles, in which cooking couscous is a prominent part of the storyline. A film from Ruanda,”Munyurangbo”, a story about an unexpected friendship between a Tutsji and a former Hutu extremist.

Films are in original language of the respective country,with English subtitles where relevant.