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Farah Abdessamad

Farah Abdessamad is a critic and essayist living in New York City. She writes about literature, philosophy, history, and art.

Mamadou Sarr and Paulin Soumanou Vieyra’s Afrique sur Seine

Without dialogue, the short film Afrique sur Seine presents slices of African life, shifting from the river banks of the Niger to the Seine and the Latin Quarter of Paris, culminating in an aperçu of 1950s city life from dawn to dusk.

Youssef Chebbi’s Ashkal

Ashkal won the highest award at the Pan-African Fespaco Film Festival. It premiered at the 2022 Cannes festival Directors’ Fortnight. Screened at MoMA’s New Directors festival last April, it will be distributed in US cinemas this summer.

Rithy Panh’s Everything Will Be Ok and Irradiés

The latest two films of Cambodia-born filmmaker Rithy Panh, Everything Will Be OK (2022) and Irradiés (2020), are premiering in North America at MoMA, as part of the first-ever retrospective of his 30-year-long career.

Khadar Ayderus Ahmed’s The Gravedigger’s Wife

Beyond ethnic and racial representation on screens, failure to acknowledge critically appraised films raises the issues of dominant narratives in creative industries. Overlooking The Gravedigger’s Wife is yet another missed opportunity for the Oscars, which could have made history by offering a stage to new, crucial voices.

Ibrahim Mursal’s The Art of Sin

The documentary The Art of Sin depicts an openly gay Sudanese man’s return home and navigates the personal and cultural ramifications of his sexual identity.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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