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Monday, July 27, 2009

Pan African Film Festival

click to enlarge PEAKS AND VALLEYS: The End of Poverty? screens Sun., Aug. 2, 2 p.m.
  • PEAKS AND VALLEYS: The End of Poverty? screens Sun., Aug. 2, 2 p.m.

If you want to draw attention to a nation’s meanest, most impoverished streets, film a chase scene on them. It worked for Slumdog Millionaire, which raised awareness of the plight of Mumbai’s poorest children through a fanciful combination of crime story, romance and quiz show.

Slumdog Millionaire’s eight Academy Awards make it an exceptional example, but many films in the Pan African Film Festival take a comparable approach. Established in 1992, the festival screens more than 100 films a year from the countries of the Pan-African diaspora. The Pan African Film Festival curates the film component of the National Black Arts Festival, which this year presents three shorts programs and 19 features and documentaries from July 29-Aug. 2 at the Woodruff Arts Center. Many of the films use time-tested genres to shine a spotlight on issues that plague other cultures, while attempting to entertain audiences who might be leery of words like diaspora.

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(Photo courtesy the National Black Arts Festival)

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