OUT OF AFRICA
A film about the genocide in Rwanda, a Senegalese retooling of a classic diva story, and a West Indian director's made-for-TV movie about the most memorable prison riot in recent American history, with Alan Alda as a liberal lawyer. The Planet Africa slate -- films from Africa and the African diaspora -- certainly comes in all flavours.
You've got your American rappers over here in Snipes, your French-Algerian domestic drama over there in InchAllah Dimanche, your Burkina Faso comedy in Bintou.
A Senegalese variation on Carmen, Karmen (see review, page 80) looks very interesting, in part because such a great and timeless story can bear almost any interpretive kink.
Inch'Allah Dimanche has the virtue of exploring the colonialist dialectic that enters into anything involving the French and the Algerians. And it's nice to see a French film that doesn't feature people yearning for a ramshackle farmhouse in the Dordogne.
If Inch'Allah Dimanche had been about a Lebanese-Parisian couple, would it have made the Planet Africa cut? Is Africa a geographical setting or a racial category? Does Arabic cinema from North Africa have more in common with cinema from sub-Saharan Africa than with Arabic cinema from the Middle East? These are the sorts of questions provoked by a catch-all program like this one.