Two years ago, my best friend told me she was heading off on a bus full of fellow academics to Burkina Faso to watch the latest films our continent has to offer. I was gutted I could not go (work...) and told her I would make the trip to the next FESPACO two years later. Didn't happen (work...), so here's a report from the ever-reliable Beeb instead.
I miss African cinema.
No offence to Nollywood, Egya Koo and friends but I wish there was a balance here between the mini-series that pass for movies these days and more artistic African fare by directors like Kwaw Ansah and the late great Ousmane Sembene (or the recent FESPACO winners who represent the next generation). Launches of the latter used to be major events back when I was in Mfansipim. Today I find it shocking that I am more likely to find rubbish like Beyonce and Rihanna or mediocre titles from Hollywood here in Ghana than I am to find Tsotsi, the first African film to score big at the Oscars. I am still in shock that people thought Beyonce was good enough to warrant a part half, much less parts 2 and 3. A series of childish and unimaginative catfights between two spoilt, noveau-riche, wannabe-Nollywood Ghanaian girls, Beyonce was not clever, artistic or entertaining.
Two more years and counting...