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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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African 'Genesis'

The ancient story of family and tribal feuding between brothers Jacob and Esau and their offspring (Genesis 23-37) takes on contemporary and tragic significance in a new film set in Mali, West Africa, from native director Cheick Oumar Sissoko.

He infuses the Old Testament epic with vivid African imagery to give a fresh perspective on conflicts that flare worldwide today among clans, tribes and nations because of differing visions of what makes a good and decent life.

Columnist James M. Wall says the retelling shows "how humankind behaves when it imposes its own dark side on God's plan for history. It's a story of behavior motivated by deeply held, though terribly distorted, religious beliefs" (Christian Century, Nov. 3, 1999). 

The film is being shown this month at festivals, museums, universities and community groups in: Athens, Ohio; Boston; Houston; Lafayette, La.; Mesilla Valley, N.M.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Wichita, Kan. It is available for rental, at $300 to $500, in 16mm, 35mm and public performance videotape from Kino International: (212) 629-6880 or kkinoint@infohouse.com. It will be available in 2001 in home video format.


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