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The feature debut of director and co-writer Bill Purple does not feature a single authentic moment. Imperfect would actually be a step up.

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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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"Sembene!" To Screen Around the Country

Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman's "Sembene!", a documentary profiling the life of acclaimed Senegalese filmmaker, Ousmane Sembene, will be screening across the country in the coming months. Widely considered the father of African cinema, Sembene passed away two months after his masterwork, "Moolaade" (2004) was screened at Ebertfest in 2007. Roger Ebert wrote that it was "the kind of film that can only be made by a director whose heart is in harmony with his mind."

Here are the confirmed screening dates for "Sembene!" (click on each venue for more info):

February 2nd: University of Colorado, Muenzinger Auditorium in Boulder, Colorado

February 7th, 19th & 21st: Honolulu Museum of Art in Honolulu, Hawaii

February 9thVancity Theater in Vancouver, Canada

February 17th & 19th: Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio

March 24th: ArtsEmerson in Boston, Massachusetts 

March 24th: DocYard, Brattle Theater in Cambridge Massachusetts 

March 25th & 27th: Sonoma Film Institute in Sonoma, California 

For more information on "Sembene!", visit the film's official site. Click here to read Matt Zoller Seitz's review of the film for RogerEbert.com.

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