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Sample text

He asked quietly. ” No, I said. “Good,” he replied. “It can be imaginated. ” Then we walked out into the main office, and at the same moment looked through the slats of the creamcolored blinds into the snowy yard. A man in a woolen hat and black leather jacket was standing there, legs planted firmly apart, film ing us through the window. T wenty years after the rest of the machine broke down, the wheels of the USSR still turn in Belarus: in the state-run enterprises that employ 80 percent of the population and produce 8 percent of the world’s tractors; in the microdistricts of apartment block, school, and hospital into which the cities are divided; in a parliament that has no opposition; in a secret police that still calls itself the KGB.

You’re not a filmmaker,” the Nigerian director Kunle Afolayan said to me during dinner one night. We were sitting by the pool, the tables still crowded close to midnight, with festivalgoers discoursing loudly, merrily, over bottles of red and plates of poulet braisé and brochettes de capi­ t ain e. Across t he pool, t hree Burkinabé musicians plucked out soulful chords on their koras. Fruit bats screeched and swooped across the garden, the fairy lights twinkled, cutlery clattered euphoniously.

He had no Christopher Vourlias is currently working on a book about his travels in Africa, Even the White Man Has Found God. indd_0524 40 films in the pipeline and no scripts on his desk. If his almost famous face didn’t immediately interest any of the filmmakers in attendance, he could at least attach himself to the nearest foreigner, offer to find him a car, a wood carving, or to arrange rendez­ vous with members of the Burkinabé film community. While I talked with Davy FESPACO headquarters slid into anarchy.

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Harper's (July 2011)

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