• Legends of Madagascar

On Sunday at 4 PM, Facets Multimedia will screen Legends of Madagascar as part of the African Diaspora Film Festival, with writer-director-actor-editor-composer Haminiaina Ratovoarivony scheduled to attend for a postshow discussion. On the basis of the film, I suspect that Ratovoarivony will have a lot to say. The movie takes on numerous issues in contemporary Madagascar: racial tensions between the native population and Indian immigrants, military corruption, and the challenge to preserve indigenous traditions amidst economic growth. As Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote of Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, Madagascar is “a kind of ‘living newspaper’ where front-page stories exist in proximity to one another without necessarily linking up, and where it’s left to the audience to make some of the vital connections.” And like much of Lee’s work, it’s lively and impassioned stuff—too entertaining to come off as a screed.