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Risking it All for Love at African Diaspora Film Festival


By Roger Costa


Nigerian filmmaker Kathryn Fasegha’s sophomore feature is one of those great surprises that remind us why we love movies. Through the simple premise of two families coming to terms to decide their future and legacy, focusing on the romantic bridge between the youngsters, the director conceives a heart-warming, enchanted, funny and perceptive look at family values, faith, integrity, pure love and capital interests. When a young successful Wall Street man returns home for a short vacation, he must defy his parents’ plan to marry him to the daughter of a wealthy politician. His heart is already speeding up for Lola, his friend’s sister, who is devoted to God’s will and expects His provision to guide her destiny. Of course, both determined mothers will do anything to stop the tumultuous love affair, but the lovebirds are also willing to risk everything for their sincere mutual feelings. An acclaimed selection at this year’s Cannes, where it premiered as the only second African feature in the Festival (the first was “Atlantics”), the film paints a dynamic and vigorous canvas of the city and its vibrancy. Efficiently performed by a stellar cast, well written with accurate humor and unexpected twists, it’s an accomplished, sensitive and timely romantic comedy. (Screens 12/15. Closing Night Film with Red Carpet, VIP Reception & Q&A.)


Astonishingly shot and beautifully designed, writer-director Moges Tafesse’s debut puts him on the radar as an emerging cinematic force in Ethiopia. Set in 1916, it depicts the harmony and communion of a traditional, close-knit community facing moral dilemmas. It revolves around a young student, who is a very dedicated poem composer, reciting inspiring lines as he amuses his teachers and colleagues. He re-encounters the first love of his life, who is now a married woman, and unable to control his desire, is caught committing adultery. Following their principles and integrity, the student is tied up to the offended husband, as they journey the wilderness together towards the great court of the Queen where they will stand trial and decide the punishment. Tafesse brilliantly addresses social conflicts, trust, loyalty and rivalry, composing an impressive, stylish dramatic fairy tale. Exquisitely performed, poetic and seductive, it’s a fascinating look at traditions and the sacrifices for a forbidden love. (Screens 12/15 with Director in attendance for Q&A.)

Léa Campos: De A à Z, Sou Cruzeiro Até Morrer

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