African film festival (Mar. 26 to 30)

March 20, 2008

One of the best movies I’ve ever seen was a South African film, Tsotsi, that came out in 2005. The story of a cruel, murdering street thug who steals a car with a baby inside (shooting and paralyzing the mom) and then attempts to keep the child alive in a completely inept way made me cry like crazy.

So I have very high expectations for the upcoming African film festival at Wash U. (Mar. 27 to 30). Best of all, the organizers are inviting families with older children to come to all the 7 p.m. screenings. There’s a list of movies online, as well as directions for finding Brown Hall on the Wash U. campus. Each of the four nights pairs a shorter film with a longer one, including many documentaries, and there will be discussion sessions led by African students from the social work department following the screenings.  All the shows are free, and if you’d like more information you can call 314.935.7879.

The festival also includes two free daytime shows at the Saint Louis Art Museum: L’Arbre aux Esprits, the story of a fight to save a baobab tree (geared for elementary kids); and Hop, about a soccer-watching date gone awry (middle school and high school kids). School groups had to register by Mar. 1, but individuals and parties of no more than five people can simply show up (Mar. 26 at 10 a.m. for L’Arbre aux Espirits and Mar. 27 at noon for Hop). After each movie, the audience will split into four groups and docents will lead them to look at African artworks in the museum that deal with the films’ topics.

For information on this great opportunity, call Rhonda at 314.771.3694 ext.2.

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