Gifted Filmmaker Passes in Burkina Faso

Idrissa Ouedraogo

Just days before a major retrospective of his cinematic work in Brazil, Idrissa Ouedraogo passed away in his home country of Burkina Faso. He was 64.

“We talked two weeks ago,” said a grieving Janaina Oliveira of Brazil’s Center for Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous Studies in a Facebook post. “I was bringing him to Brazil. Tickets, screening, tribute…it was all set. He was so happy.”

President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kabore said in a statement that his country “has lost a filmmaker of immense talent,” noting that the director “truly contributed to turning the spotlight on Burkinabe and African cinema beyond our borders.”

The prolific Ouedraogo was best known for Tilai, a complicated story about a man returning to his village after a long absence, only to find that his father has married his fiance. Even though she is now officially his mother, they begin an affair, and trouble ensues. The film won the Cannes Jury Prize in 1990.

His later films included Samba Traoré (1993), about the aftermath of a botched robbery (the title is a character’s name), and Kini & Adams (1997), a story about two friends in Zimbabwe. Samba Traoré won a prize at the Berlin Film Festival, and Kini & Adams was shown at Cannes.

His first film Yam Daabo arrived in 1986, followed by Yaaba, an unusual love story between a young boy and an elderly woman spurned by her village.

He made several 3-minute films for the series Art for the World, an NGO associated with the U.N. Department of Public Information which sees art as an important tool for fostering dialogue among diverse peoples, cultures, and worldviews, encouraging tolerance and solidarity in the defense of human rights.

Malian filmmaker Cheick Omar Cissoko, secretary general of the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers commented, “Idrissa has made human stories of such intensity, built around extremely strong characters…His writing is a leap forward within African cinema. He was always looking for the best.”

Many of his films can be found on YouTube.

 

Source via Global Information Network

 

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