Black Film Streaming Pick: Fanta Régina Nacro
Four Shorts From Burkinabé Director Fanta Régina Nacro
Welcome back to my “Black Film Streaming Pick” series, a continuous column about Black films currently available on streaming platforms. If you haven’t already, take a look at my last pick: Wayne Wang’s enjoyable holiday romance Last Holiday.
This time around, I’m writing about the short films of Burkina Faso filmmaker Fanta Régina Nacro.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Black Streaming Pick (nearly a year in fact). This one has been sitting in my drafts folder for months, so I’m glad, finally, to be able to share it. Hopefully, I’ll be starting this series up again soon, particularly now that we’re past the glut of the fall festival season.
The works of Nacro have delighted me since the first time I watched her films. Before becoming a filmmaker, Nacro initially intended on becoming a midwife. She later attended Institut d'Education Cinématographique de Ouagadougou, whose partnership with Howard University allowed her to meet LA Rebellion filmmaker and mentor Zeinabu irene Davis. A pioneering African woman filmmaker, Nacro employs a perceptive humor and eloquent compositions to interrogate gender roles, vie for women’s sexual and political liberation, and to juxtapose the modernity of urban life with the traditions of the rural. She was among the first African filmmakers to ring the alarm warning against the rising tide of HIV/AIDs in Africa.
Here are four imperative films by the landmark filmmaker.
A Certain Morning
Nothing will prepare you for its ending; after experiencing several bad omens, Tiga (Hyppolite Wangraoua), a local farmer goes to out to Mossi plateau to make some chairs. There he hears a woman seemingly screaming for help. With his rifle, he leaps in to save her only to learn a startling truth about her predicament that sends her into hiding. Wickedly funny, the film is also a sly critique of Western influences in Africa, the exoticized ways Hollywood portrays African people, and the power of cinema to bend reality and bend the folkloric stories we tell ourselves.