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Middle Africa > Burkina Faso > Ouagadougou News: FESPACO

Ouagadougou News: FESPACO

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Traditional African culture is amazing, and it is always present in our itineraries. Said this, in Middle Africa we also present Africa’s present day forms of cultural expression. One of them is Burkina Faso’s annual FESPACO film festival. Always during the dry months, Ouagadougou transforms into the unlikely Cannes of the African Continent. The city's dust-filled streets are decorated with bunting. Burkina Faso's film industry found its stride under Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary leader in power from 1983 to 1987. Sankara, dubbed "Africa’s Che Guevara," banned refrigerators and air conditioning, calling them bourgeois trappings, but he exalted in promoting movies. At the height of Sankara's Marxist rule, Burkina Faso boasted 55 cinema halls. “You cannot kill ideas,” Sankara said a week before his death in a 1987 coup, which brought current President Blaise Compaore to power.