Back Up! by Christophe Gros-Dubois
Back Up! by Christophe Gros-Dubois

The ninth edition of the African Diaspora International Film Festival – Paris (FIFDA) will be held in Paris from September 6 to 8, 2019 at the cinemas Saint André des Arts (6th) and 7 Parnassians (14th).

The festival opens with the world premiere of French movie Back Up! by Christophe Gros-Dubois. The Opening Night will be held at the Saint André des Arts Theater on Friday, September 6th. Back Up! Is an alternative Internet news outlet where a group of journalists investigate crimes involving minorities in France, called “The Forgotten People of the Republic.” As their notoriety grows on social media, they are about to enter a new realm with the participation of a foreign investor. Back Up! is a fascinating investigative thriller inspired by today’s reality and the success of social media. The film takes us from the history of the French overseas territories to the health scandal of Chlordécone insecticide, while tackling the issue of the ongoing social unrest in the suburbs in France.

For Closing Night, FIFDA will present the European premiere of American documentary Black N Black by Boston based Ivorian filmmaker Zadi Zokou. This documentary explores the relationship between African Americans and African immigrants in the United States. Although both communities originated from the African continent, their view of each other is often fueled by stereotypes and misconceptions.

Black N Black Trailer

Two European Premieres feature films coming directly from FESPACO 2019. Barkomo, The Cave by Aboubacar Bablé Draba and Boucary Ombotimbé – Official Competition Section – is a Malian film from the Dogon country. A hunter lives with his two wives. The first, Yamio, infertile after 10 years of marriage, tries to commit suicide because of the humiliation imposed by her young co-wife. She throws herself off the cliff, but miraculously, she lands down safely. A film in the tradition of Malian cinema that celebrates love and questions traditions.

With The Republic of the Corrupts by Salam Zampaligré (Burkina Faso) – Panorama section of FESPACO 2019 – we are in a republic where all the machinations to conquer and manage power are implemented with no second thoughts. David Bakyono is an intellectual appreciated for his excellent books, but who allows himself to be corrupted by politics. He wants at any costs to obtain a seat in the National Assembly. It is in the midst of the electoral campaign, marked by the purchase of votes and the muzzling of the press, that Yasmine, a young journalist from the newspaper Global Presse, seeks to carry out a dangerous investigation that will lead to casualties among Yasmine’s relatives. Firm and determined, Yasmine will face various forms of intimidation in her quest for the truth. His love affair with Alex, a fiery young pan-Africanist, also takes a hit because of her investigation.

Two fictions in the selection of FIFDA 2019 make us discover places and stories rarely presented on the big screen. Seasons of a Life by Shemu Joyah from Malawi, never screened in Europe, is a drama that tells the story of a maid who is sexually abused by her boss and gets pregnant. She is forced to abandon her child but comes back for him six years later. A moving story that addresses universal themes in an African context, helping us to understand the processes of modernization and democratization on the continent.

Dahlinyaro (Youth) by Lula Ali Isma of Djibouti tells the story of Deka, Asma and Hibo, three girls about to pass their secondary exam and go to university. United by a strong friendship, they come from different social classes and face together the transition to adulthood. A coming of age story of friendship and hope.

Thanks to its history, the African continent shines around the world today and the retention of African cultures is felt throughout the world. In Reunion, for example, the musical documentary Ahi Na’ma, Lindigo in Cuba by Laurent Benhamou and Valentin Langlois testifies to this reality. This film tells the story of the group Lindigo, led by the young and charismatic Olivier Araste. Lindigo is the modern incarnation of maloya, a musical tradition inherited from slaves. Playing the maloya was still banned in Reunion in 1981. In response to the invitation of the Havana World Music Festival, Olivier Araste and Lindigo go to Cuba.

Ahi Na’ma, Lindigo in Cuba by Laurent Benhamou and Valentin Langlois Trailer

Haiti is present in the festival through the main role played by internationally renowned Haitian actor Jimmy Jean Louis (Claws, Cargo, Toussaint Louverture) in Rattlesnakes by Julius Amedume. A black neo-psychological thriller inspired by Graham FARROW’s famous play, Rattlesnakes tells the story of healer Robert McQueen (Jimmy Jean-Louis). A typical day turns to the worst when he is ambushed by three masked men who accuse him of sleeping with their wives. He pleads his innocence, but what he reveals will change everyone’s lives forever – but will that be enough to save his?

RATTLESNAKES by Julius Amedume Trailer

Out of Chaos, an Artist Journey to Haiti by Pascal Giacomini is a film that celebrates art in Haiti. FIFDA will present The European premiere of the film in the presence of the director. Invited by the Ghetto Biennale of Port au Prince, the multimedia artist Pascal Giacomini spends a month in the community of Grand Rue. He takes advantage of the experience to show the daily life of the ghetto. He interviews artists, locals and others; and tries to show the source of the amazing Haitian creative energy, which mixes the country’s revolutionary history, voodoo, and the traumatic experience of the earthquake. What prompted artists to turn the gravas into art. It is the happy tale of an indestructible spirit.

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