Visit of FESPACO Silver Prize winner, Sylvestre Amoussou, and projection of his film, "Africa Paradis"

Vaibhav Iyer, Year 11

On Thursday, 12th October 2017, Upper School students were introduced to a satirical speculative film of 2006 entitled Africa Paradis, written and directed by Beninese filmmaker, Sylvestre Amoussou.  The topical film raised political issues on refugees and immigration, and acted as a social commentary for our modern society, while maintaining a light and comic impression. 

As we entered the classroom, we were introduced to Mr. Sylvestre Amoussou himself, who spoke briefly on the idea and inspiration behind the film, but was eager to see our reaction to the film before answering more of our questions.  Therefore, along with our teachers and Dr. Carsky, we were ready for the movie to play.

Throughout the duration of the film, I noticed how Mr. Amoussou cleverly placed his characters in certain situations to showcase the irony behind the plot and to start conversations on various topics, such as the troubles of migration in general, the treatment of minorities, discrimination and illegal immigration.

Overall, we were able to have a memorable experience as we met the ingenious director/writer, Sylvestre Amoussou, watched his movie and had his personal commentary.

Aïna Xerri, Year 10

Africa Paradis is a unique movie with its own twist on explaining world problems.  It is a different way of educating the African nation, and how extremely thought-provoking it was!  It’s only fair to show the reality of how immigrants are viewed in Europe and especially how they’re treated.  The film depicts an imaginary future where Africa is prosperous, while Europe is in a deep economic crisis and is underdeveloped.

The Europeans want to move to Africa for a better life but it’s hard for them because a lot of jobs are already occupied. They are lower class compared to Africans. Many try to come into Africa illegally, but if caught, they are sent back to their countries. This is an exact replica of what happens to Africans who try to find a better life in Europe for themselves and their families.

Filmmaker, Sylvestre Amoussou, showed this situation through reversal of roles. This distinct way of showing opens your eyes to what’s happening, presents a reality of our societies from a different angle and makes you realize the unfairness of this world so that something can be done.

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