New Internationalist

The Night of Truth

Issue 382

In an unnamed African country, after years of civil war and vicious killing, the two sides come together. The rebel colonel and the President, sincere about peace, organize a reconciliation ceremony and celebrations. But on each side are people who cannot forget the violent deaths of people close to them.

Fanta Nacro, Burkina Faso’s first woman director, has all rebel and government soldiers played by members of the Burkina Faso army – as if to point out a mutual understanding. But women have the key roles in her story. The colonel’s wife is fearful and suspicious; the President’s wife, haunted by her son’s horrific death and mutilation, wants revenge, so her son’s spirit can leave the earth.

Night of Truth, aimed at a wide African audience, is about African people dealing with African problems. It’s not about the ‘West’s’ involvement, not about arms sales – people are usually killed with machetes – nor is it about a role for the UN. It’s about what Africans can do for themselves, but has a universal message. Well acted, subtly directed, with nice satirical touches, it shows the changes people have to make to live together. And which some just cannot make.

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