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Screen/Society--2017 African Film Festival--"L'oeil du cyclone" / "The Eye of the Storm"

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017
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7:00 pm - 8:50 pm
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Introduced by Prof. Stephen Smith (Department of African and African American Studies); discussion to follow!
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2017 African Film Festival

Film Screening: "L'oeil du cyclone" / "The Eye of the Storm" (Sekou Traoré, 2015, 100 min, France/Burkina Faso, in French w/ English subtitles, Color, DVD) / In a small African country, an idealistic lawyer reluctantly defends a rebel, and former child soldier, on trial for war crimes, and begins to understand the psychological ramifications and effects on adults of brainwashing youth for war.
Based on case studies of former child soldiers, Sékou Traoré's feature finds a young lawyer, Emma Tou (Maimouna N'Diaye), reluctantly accepting to defend a recently captured fugitive in what her boss has dubbed "The Trial of the Century." Determined to ensure her defendant sees a fair trial amid the media circus, Emma visits the chilling Blackshouam Vila (brilliantly played by Fargass Assandé in a performance reminiscent of "The Silence of the Lambs") and works to earn his trust to break his self-imposed silence. As Vila, no longer a child but grown into a grizzled man of middle age, begins to share his history, Emma uncovers the psychological terrors of a youth brainwashed to commit crimes who has grown into a man vacillating between celebrating his atrocities and complaining of his horrific nightmares, haunted by his unfortunate victims. The further Emma digs, the more she finds that implicates government officials in facilitating Vila's murderous rampage. / Trailer:

Contact: Hank Okazaki