Q&A with Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda

Set in a fictitious African country, Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda’s medium-length comedy recounts the tale of the country’s president—the founder and “first citizen” of his nation—settling in for an all-night game of checkers with a man who purports to be the grand champion. However, the game soon devolves into a satirical and incisive parable about the brutal confrontation between dictatorship and its political opponents. A meticulously composed work of political cinema, Le Damier takes aim at the absurdity of authoritarianism and doesn’t miss. Restored in 2K in 2021 by NYU Tisch, in association with Villa Albertine – French Embassy in the United States and the Cinémathèque Afrique of the Institut français.

Special thanks to Villa Albertine.

Screening with:
The Potemkinists / Potemkiniștii*
Radu Jude, 2022, Romania, 18m
Romanian and Russian with English subtitles
North American Premiere

Radu Jude revisits the history of the battleship Potemkin—the source story for Sergei Eisenstein’s classic 1925 work of Soviet montage—as a comic dialogue between a sculptor and a representative from Romania’s Ministry of Culture about cinema, monument-making, and art’s conflicted role in the continual revisionism of history. 

*The Potemkinists is a Currents selection. For more information about the Currents lineup, visit here.