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FESPACO 2013 - Sardonic Angolan Drama 'The Great Kilapy' (Con Man Becomes National Hero)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act January 29, 2013 at 4:33PM

A new year of film festivals has officially launched with the grand-daddy of them all (here in the USA anyway) the Sundance Film Festival, wrapping up its 2013 event over the weekend.
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Lázaro Ramos

A new year of film festivals has officially launched with the grand-daddy of them all (here in the USA anyway) the Sundance Film Festival, wrapping up its 2013 event over the weekend.

In February, however, in addition to the Pan African Film Festival that takes place in Los Angeles, CA, here in the USA, there will also be the Pan-African Film & TV Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), happening in Burkina Faso, West Africa - a festival that occurs only once every two years.

The twenty third (23rd) edition of the Pan-African Film & TV Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) will take place from February 23 to March 22013 with “African Cinema and Public Policy in Africa” as this edition’s theme.

Continuing on with highlights from this year's event...

Titled O Grande Kilapy (The Great Kilapy), and directed by Angolan filmmaker Zézé Gamboa (his second scripted feature film since 2004's The Hero), the film's synopsis reads:

Zézé Gamboa's sardonic historical drama follows a good-hearted, apolitical con man who, on the eve of Angolan independence in the mid-1970s, pulls off a massive swindle at the expense of the Portuguese colonial administration — and soon after finds himself hailed as a hero of the national liberation struggle.

Apparently, this apolitical man's name is Joãozinho, and he happens to live in luxury, buying expensive cars and dating beautiful white girls, all of which shocks the Portuguese dictatorial colonial regime. He just wants to have a good life, and unintentionally becomes a subversive political hero.

Zézé Gamboa has stated that he considers himself part of a movement of African filmmakers who see their work as directly impacting the task of national reconstruction.

The Great Kilapy stars Lázaro Ramos - the man who has been called Brazil's Denzel Washington. Some of you may already be familiar with Ramos' work - specifically a 2005 Brazilian film titled, O Homem que Copiava (or The Man Who Copied) - a film that we've highlighted on S&A in the past. It won eight Brazilian Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Film, Best Supporting actor and Best Supporting Actress.

The Great Kilapy premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, and has been selected in competition to screen at FESPACO - the 23rd Festival Panafrican du Cinema et de la Television de Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso - next month, as it continues its international travels

I love the look of the trailer below; I want to see this and really hope it comes to New York:

This article is related to: The Great Kilapy, Lázaro Ramos


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