African Diaspora International Film Festival at Goethe Institut Friday, August 16

D.C.’s version of the African Diaspora International Film Festival, returning for its seventh year, seems far too short for an event concerned with global African culture. Running tonight through Sunday, it will show only seven films. But its curation may make up for its small slate. Tonight’s kickoff film, African Independence, takes a broad view, talking to African leaders about the continent’s myriad struggles for independence. Saturday’s Otomo looks at racism overseas, dramatizing the story of a West African refugee living in Stuttgart who assaulted a subway employee and rapidly became a hunted man. The African Cypher, a D.C. premiere, follows a South African street dancer with a checkered past who’s found a fanbase in the streets of Soweto. Two other films tell fictional and real stories from Senegal: Dramatic film The Pirogue depicts a group of Senegalese men who embark on a dangerous sea voyage to Europe in search of prosperity; Return to Gorée follows another journey, this one by acclaimed Senegalese musician Youssou N’Dour, who traces the slave route between Gorée and America and the jazz music that sprung from it. So while the film festival might not get the time it deserves, it couldn’t be accused of a lack of ambition. The films screen through Sunday at the Goethe Institut, 812 7th St. NW. $10–$20. (212) 864-1760. See a schedule at nyadiff.org.

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When are you bringing the festival to Bmore?

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