October 7th, 2009


Martin Scorsese is emerging as some kind of patron for African film in New York City.

Last year director Martin Scorcese hosted a screening of a restored print of “Harvest,” director Haile Gerima’s 1975 epic film at the Tribeca Film Festival. (Gerima had shot the film over two weeks while the Ethiopian Revolution was unfolding.) Scorcese’s World Cinema Foundation had funded the restoration of the original print.  Scorcese wrote in the Tribeca Film Festival program that …[a] sense of monumental effort pervades every frame of Harvest 3000 Years. It has a particular kind of urgency which few pictures possess. This is the story of an entire people, and its collective longing for justice and good faith. An epic, not in scale but in emotional and political scope.” (The board members of the World Cinema Foundation include the directors Abderrahmane Sissako, Fatih Akin and Abbas Kiarostami, anong others, and you can watch some of the restored films–like the Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambéty’s “Touki Bouki” on the site).

Now I saw this notice (below) for a screening of Souleymane Cisse’s new film “Min Ye?” (Tell Me Who You Are) on Thursday night at the Director’s Guild Theater in Manhattan, that again features Scorcese’s involvement. (Cisse’s film is also playing at the New York Film Festival.)

Film Screening of Min Ye? (Tell Me Who You Are), Directed by Souleymane Cisse?

With a Q&A with the director moderated by Martin Scorsese to follow
Date: Thursday, October 8, 2009
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Directors’ Guild DGA Theatre, 110 W. 57th Street New York, NY
Please RSVP to (212) 258-0805

Min Ye? explores contemporary married life in Mali against the
background of traditional African polygamy. Mimi, a high-ranking
bureaucrat, shares a fancy villa with her filmmaker husband, Issa.
When she becomes bored with polygamy and the routine of family life,
she schemes to divorce Issa and marry her younger boyfriend, Aba. Her
working life vanishes and things turn upside down.

How will this adulterous trio evolve when each day brings new complications?

Director Souleymane Cisse??s (Yeelen; The Wind; Waati) first film in a
decade is a work of startling originality that insightfully and
incisively chronicles the dissolution of an upper-middle class African

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Sean Jacobs

Otherwise known as Hasan Wasan.

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