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By our count, there are 9 African films showing in Park City, Utah this year — as in films by African directors or dealing with African themes. That’s a big crop for the Sundance Film Festival (see Africa’s A Country on previous years‘ slim pickings). There’s only one narrative feature by an African director in the competition, but it looks like all three of the documentaries depart from the ‘Westerner-makes-film-about-Africans-and-draws-on-stale-and-tired-tropes’ model. The shorts category boasts promising newcomers: Frances Bodomo‘s Boneshaker is the story of a Ghanaian-American family looking for traces of home in Louisiana, while Fyzal Boulifa‘s The Curse deftly sidesteps the Orientalist imagery associated with the Maghreb. Click through for our reviews of the 5 shorts, and check out our previews in the following pages.

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