Although I have not seen "Jit," I have to agree wholeheartedly with your
remarks on "Quartier Mozart"--particularly with respect to how its fast
pacing helps make it accessible/more accessible to a Western audience. In
general, what delights and fascinates me about this film is its
comprehensive BLEND of Western and African elements--both in cinematic
terms and more general cultural ones. That is, it's obvious that
Jean-Pierre Bekolo knows his Sembene Ousmane, but he also obviously knows
his Spike Lee as well. And these formal influences correspond to the
internal logic of the story: traditional beliefs about magic,
sorcery, metamorphosis, etc., are integral to understanding the film--but
so are the references to Lady Di and Denzel Washington. "Quartier Mozart"
is simply one of the most cosmopolitan and sophisticate films I've seen in
any language, or from any country. Bekolo's got it going on.... When is
his next film coming out?
Dept. of Comparative Literature
New York University