Saturday, 6 September 2008

donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: Day 3 a.k.a Can we get an editor on site?

Can we get an editor on site at TIFF to go around and trim some minutes from a few films? Last night I mentioned that It Might Get Loud was in desperate need of an editor. Well, this afternoon I saw a wonderful film that could have been an extraordinary film if a few scenes had been removed. Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love, is beautifully photographed, and the subject, Ndour, his griot family, his rise to fame and his controversial CD, "Egypt" do hold your attention, but it's way too long. Yes, I recommend the film, but be prepared to squirm through a few unnecessary scenes. The worldwide concert footage is exhilarating. If you are new to Ndour, you will see why he such a superstar. Watching Ndour remain steadfast in his conviction to sing songs celebrating Islam while some of his countrymen ban his CD based on hearsay, is very compelling. You can't help but wonder how you would react in the face of such negative press when all you are trying to do is praise your religion.
You still have a couple of chances to see the film. Sunday, Sept 7 and Friday, Sept. 12.
Aide-toi le ciel t'aidera (With a Little Help From Myself) Shines Thanks to Star Felicite Wouassi (centre)

Directed by Fran├žois Dupeyron (his film Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran played at TIFF 03), who admits that he enjoys making films about outsiders, Aide-toi le ciel t'aidera is a family drama with comic elements. Actress Felicite Wouassi is well-known on stage and on screen in France, but the film's all Black cast was a first for France and funders were not lining up for this film (French television passed). Felicite is absolutely brilliant. She stole our hearts tonight at the Isabel Bader Theatre. Her screen presence reminds me of American actresses such as Cicely Tyson and Rosalind Cash. Felicite plays a mother trying to hold her family together. The family happens to be African and living in France, but the tale is a universal one. The film hasn't played in France as yet and I would be interested to see if French audiences pick up on this universal theme or if they see only the immigrant story. Aide-toi has two more public screenings:

Tuesday September 09 12:45PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 3
Thursday September 11 11:45AM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 3

Make sure to stay for the song at the end credits. It's an integral part of the film experience.

Visit www.tiff08.ca for all Festival details.

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