SIFF 2014: African Metropolis **

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on May 31, 2014)

This omnibus of six short multi-genre stories provides a showcase for the talents of a half dozen emerging African filmmakers. The only connecting thread between the shorts is that each one is set against a modern urban backdrop (in the cities of Abidjan, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi). The collection is somewhat hit and miss; for me it was an even 50/50 split, with half of the vignettes not really going anywhere. The standout piece is  To Repel Ghosts (from Ivory Coast filmmaker Philippe Lacote), which is a haunting, impressionistic speculation based on a 1988 visit to Abidjan made by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, shortly before his death at age 27.


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