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April 20 - 21

Fanta Régina Nacro: Close-Up

The Harvard Film Archive is honored to welcome Fanta Régina Nacro, this year's recipient of the ninth annual Genevieve McMillan and Reba Stewart Fellowship for Distinguished Filmmaking. Nacro studied at the African Institute for Cinematic Studies (INAFEC), the national film school of Burkina Faso, and the Sorbonne in Paris, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Film and Audiovisual Studies. She is the first Burkinabe woman to direct a dramatic film, the short Un Certain Matin (1991), and has made many shorts which address the AIDS epidemic in Africa, including Vivre Positivement (1993). Her first feature The Night of Truth (2004) was featured in the touring program of the Global Film Initiative and received screenwriting honors at the San Sebastian Film Festival. 

This program is co-presented by the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies and the Film Study Center at Harvard. Special thanks are offered to the Global Film Initiative, Women Make Movies, First Run Features and this year's selection committee members Dominique Bluher, Haden Guest, Alfred Guzzetti, Francis Abiola Irele and Lucien Taylor.

April 20 (Friday) 7:30 pm
RECEPTION WITH THE FILMMAKER 6 - 7 pm Carpenter Center Sert Gallery

Un certain matin

Directed by Fanta Régina Nacro, Appearing in Person
Burkina Faso 1991, 16mm, color, 13 min.
Moore with English subtitles

A provocative look at cinematic illusions versus deadly realities that won numerous awards worldwide: Tiga, a farmer who lives peacefully with his wife and his two children on the Mossi plateau, hears a woman calling for help ... Program notes reprinted from The 14th New York African Film Festival.

The Night of Truth

Directed by Fanta Régina Nacro, Appearing in Person
France/Burkina Faso 2004, 35mm, color, 100 min.
With Naky Sy Savane, Commandant Moussa Cissé, Georgette Paré
French, Moore, Dioula with English subtitles

Mirroring the political strife and genocide in contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa, The Night of Truth opens as preparations are being made to end a decade of civil war in a fictitious country. A peace agreement is about to be signed and celebrated in a night of reconciliation with a “laying down of arms.” As the powerful drumming begins, both rebels and government forces gather, bringing with them years of rage, grief, hope, suspicion, and bitterness. In her first feature film, Fanta Régina Nacro boldly presents the sometimes unintentional but inhuman behavior inherent in all people. Film description courtesy of the Global Film Initiative. Print courtesy First Run Features.

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April 21 (Saturday) 7 pm


Directed by Fanta Régina Nacro, Appearing in Person
Burkina Faso 1995, 35mm, color, 30 min
Moore with English subtitles

A beautiful, noble Senegalese woman arrives one day in Ouagadougou carrying with her remarkable seductive powers. Her irresistible charms seem to work on men like a drug––even Salif, a well-to-do dentist who lives a monotonous married life. Isa, his wife, decides to confront her rival. But the two women reach an immediate agreement, and Isa is soon initiated into the art of seducing men. Program notes reprinted from The 14th New York African Film Festival.

Konaté’s Gift

Directed by Fanta Régina Nacro, Appearing in Person
Burkina Faso 1998, 35mm, color, 27 min.
Dioula with English subtitles

Djénéba brings a pack of condoms back from the city. She presents them to her husband Konaté, but he will not hear of it; he thinks those 'things’ will affect his masculinity. Will the local boubou (spiritual healer) have the answer to Djénéba’s dilemma? Program notes reprinted from The 14th New York African Film Festival.

A Close-Up on Bintou

Directed by Fanta Régina Nacro, Appearing in Person
Burkina Faso/France 2001, video, color, 26 min.
With Hyppolite Ouangrawa, Alima Salouka
French with English subtitles

Nacro’s short film, featured in the omnibus film project, Mama Africa, centers on Bintou, a housewife who meets harsh resistance from her husband when she tries to earn money to send her daughter to school.  Nacro received honors for her achievement at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. Print courtesy of filmmaker.

Africa Africas

Directed by Fanta Régina Nacro, Agnes Ndibi, Maji-da Abdi, Fanta Régina Nacro Appearing in Person
Cameroon/Ethiopia/Burkina Faso 2001, video, color, 62 minutes
French, English and Tigri with English subtitles

A rare collection from the emerging voices of African documentary
filmmaking, this series daringly explores the social and cultural realities experienced in Africa today. Agnes Ndibi’s Fantacoca presents the disturbing cultural phenomenon of skin bleaching in Cameroon and the challenge it poses on notions of black pride and identity. The River Between Us by Maji-da Abdi documents the alarming effects of war on a community of Ethiopian women and children who were forcibly relocated into refugee camps. Nacro’s Laafi Bala demonstrates the glaring causes and debilitating effects of wide-spread unemployment and poverty in Burkina Faso, where few institutional resources and government support are available. Film description and print courtesy of Women Make Movies.

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