Portrait of two leaders of the Pan-African Liberation Movement: Frantz Fanon and Amilcar Cabral.
Using rare archival footage, director Ana Lucia Ramos Lisboa accurately chronicles both the personal and public sides of an African icon in Amilcar Cabral (Cape Verde/ Portugal, 2001, 52 mins., in Portuguese with English Subtitles). The founder of the African Party for Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC), Amilcar Cabral led the Liberation Movement against Portugal for those countries.
In the documentary Frantz Fanon: His Life, His Struggle, His Work(Algeria/France, 2001, 52 mins., in French and Arabic with English subtitles), director Cheikh Djemai uncovers and interviews scores of former associates of Frantz Fanon, a psychiatrist, philosopher and political leader. He became a spokesman for the Algerian revolution against French colonialism, and as the author of Black Skin, White Masks, Fanon documented the effects of colonialism and racism on the people of colonized countries.
Amilcar Cabral was the leader of the Liberation Movement of Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau and the founder of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC). He was born in Guinea in 1924 and assassinated in Conakry in 1973. Regarded as a true icon of African history, this documentary provides considerable background to this revolutionary giant and reveals Cabral in several dimensions: as a man, a father, politician, humanist and poet.
The documentary is skillfully produced and uses a wealth of rare archive footage, balanced inclusion of varied testimonies of important African personalities and the credible recreation of notable episodes of Cabral's life.
Two African Griots connect Africa and the World: Youssou N’Dour in “Return to Gorée by Pierre-Yves Borgeau, Sotigui Kouyaté in Names Live Nowhere by Dominique Loreau and Sotigui, a Modern Griot by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. DVD also includes Youssou N’Dour’s live concert performance on Gorée Island.
RETURN TO GOREE Film and Concert
RETURN TO GOREE follows Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour's historical journey tracing the trail left by slaves and the jazz music they invented. Youssou N'Dour's challenge is to bring back to Africa a jazz repertoire of his own songs to perform a concert in Goree, the island that today symbolizes the slave trade and stands to honor its victims. With Youssou N'Dour, Moncef Genoud, Joseph Ndiaye, Idris Muhammad, and Amiri Baraka among others.
DVD includes filmed final concert on the Goree Island.
RETURN TO GOREE / CONCERT, Pierre Yves Borgeaud, Senegal/Switzerland/ Luxembourg, 2006, 108 min. / 52min. In English and French with English subtitles.
NAMES LIVE NOWHERE & SOTIGUI KOUYATE, A MODERN GRIOT
NAMES LIVE NOWHERE (Les Noms N'Habitent Nulle Part) - whose title is a Senegalese proverb - a griot (story teller) traveling from Dakar to Brussels weaves a tale about African expatriates and offers a candid look at the life of African immigrants in Belgium. With Sotigui Kouyate - a real life griot - as the story teller.
SOTIGUI KOUYATE, A MODERN GRIOT dresses the portrait of one of Africa's greatest actor (1936-2010). From Africa to Europe, the film unveils the multiple facets of Sotigui Kouyate, actor, musician and modern griot.
NAMES LIVE NOWHERE / A MODERN GRIOT, Dominique Loreau / Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Belgium/ France, 1994 / 1996, 76min / 58min. In French with English subtitles.
Two fiction films that explore the life of women in Africa. Set in Burkina Fasso AN UNCOMMON WOMAN is a comedy about a cuckold woman who decides to take a second husband. CAPE VERDE MY LOVE is drama that takes a critical look at the lives of women in contemporary Cape Verde.
AN UNCOMMON WOMAN
Mina is tired of her husband's infidelity and decides to take a drastic decision: She takes a second husband. Based on his conversations with women involved in polygamist relationships, he illustrates - to very funny effects - the daily life of two persons - in this case two men - who share a spouse. On a comedic tone, Abdoulaye Dao tells us a story of jealousy, infidelity, romance and revenge.Directed by Dao Abdoulaye, 2009, 101 min, Burkina Faso, Comedy, French with English subtitles.
An Uncommon Woman-Une Femme Pas Comme Les Autres- was a success in its native Burkina Faso and is cast with some the best actors of Burkinabe cinema.
Official selection, African Diaspora International Film Festival 2010.
CAPE VERDE MY LOVE
Praia, Cape Verde. Laura, Flavia and Bela are childhood friends. Each leads her own life and they sometimes meet to dance, dine and have fun. But one day the calm rivers of their lives break their banks and become wild torrents: Ricardo, Flavia's husband, rapes his pupil Indira, Laura's 13-year old eldest daughter. A film that takes a critical look at the lives of women in Cape Verde .
By Ana Lucia Ramos Lisboa, 2007, Cape Verde, Drama, 77min, Cape Verdean Portuguese w/ English subtitles.
Revealing films about two very important Afro-Brazilian figures:
*Abdias do Nascimento(March 14, 1914 - May 23, 2011) was an outspoken and vibrant defender of Afro-Brazilian civil rights. *Natalino Jose do Nacimento, better known as Natal Da Portela (July 31, 1905- April 5, 1975) was one of the founders and major sponsor of the Portela Samba School in Rio de Janeiro, champion of the 2017 Carnival parade.
ABDIAS DO NASCIMENTO
Loving and revealing documentary about Afro-Brazilian scholar/writer/activist /politician Abdias do Nascimento (1914-2011), a significant figure in and leader of Brazil’s Black movement who founded the Black Experimental Theater in 1944 and was very active in the international Pan-African Movement. Directed by Aida Marques, 2011, 95 min, Brazil, Documentary, Portuguese with English subtitles.
NATAL DA PORTELA
The name ‘Natal da Portela’ is historically attached to the cultural identity of Brazil. Natal da Portela created the first escola de samba in Rio de Janeiro. The schools of samba are the soul of carnival in Brazil and major reservoirs of Afro-Brazilian culture. The film depicts the life of Natal da Portela as a young man from the favelas--the slums of the northern part of Rio de Janeiro--up to the creation of “la Portela”, the school of samba he created.
Directed by Paulo Cezar Saraceni, 1988, 100min, Brazil, Drama, Portuguese with English subtitles.
Two exciting, colorful films spotlight the African roots of Cuba's culture by focusing on two legendary artists -- Rumbero Papa Montero and Filmmaker Sara Gomez -- in this unique box set.
THE LAST RUMBA OF PAPA MONTERO / LA ULTIMA RUMBA DE PAPA MONTERO
Get ready to rumba! The life of Cuba s last great rumbero is detailed in THE LAST RUMBA OF PAPA MONTERO, a bold story that captures Cuban traditions and culture through beautiful imagery, sensual music, and the most scorching Latin dance ever invented. Afro-Cuban mythology serves as the force behind the narrative as mythic figures guide the characters through the events of the story.
| Cuba/Martinique | 1992 | 52 mins | docu-drama in Spanish with English subtitles | Octavio Cortazar, Dir. |
“Montero is a celebration of rumba as heart and soul for a colorful Cuban landscape." - SLANT
SARA GOMEZ: AN AFRO-CUBAN FILMMAKER
Acclaimed filmmaker Sara Gomez comes to life in the rich, multilayered documentary SARA GOMEZ: AN AFRO-CUBAN FILMMAKER. Though trained in ethnography, Gomez became the first female Cuban filmmaker. Her background shaped her films, which reflect her interests in Afro-Cuban cultural traditions and women s issues. Friends and family members recall her talent, intelligence, and generosity. Ultimately SARA GOMEZ is a love story between Sara and her husband (filmmaker Germinal Hernandez), Sara and her family, and Sara and her culture. | Cuba/Switzerland | 2005 | 76 min | documentary in Spanish with English subtitles | Alessandra Muller, Dir. |
"[SARA GOMEZ] is an extremely important documentary.... " - Kwame Dixon, SCOPE
BLACK MEXICAN / LA NEGRADA & THE VALLEY OF THE BLACK DESCENDANTS / EL VALLE DE LOS NEGROS
Two films that explore the life of black people in Latin America. BLACK MEXICAN / LA NEGRADA is the first Mexican feature film about the Afro-Mexican community, THE VALLEY OF THE BLACK DESCENDANTS / EL VALLE DE LOS NEGROS is a documentary about Afro-Chilean struggle to organize the first African census in the history of Chile.
BLACK MEXICANS / LA NEGRADA
DIRECTED BY JORGE PEREZ SOLANO
MEXICO/ 2018/ 104 MIN / DRAMA IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH
Black Mexicans (La Negrada)is the first Mexican feature film about the Afro-Mexican community, filmed entirely with people from different towns around the Costa Chica in Oaxaca.
Neri, a fisherman, splits his time between two women: his wife Juanita with whom he has a daughter and his lover Magdalena, mother of three additional children. Things are about to change for Neri as Juanita falls gravely ill and Magdalena prepares to take her place.
Shot entirely in the beautiful beaches of Corralera in Oaxaca and featuring a cast of non-professional actors from the nearby communities,Black Mexicansexplores the social mores of and the discrimination faced by Mexico’s little known black community.
THE VALLEY OF THE BLACK DESCENDANTS / EL VALLE DE LOS NEGROS
In the Azapa Valley (Chile), an oasis in the driest desert in the world, a group of descendants of enslaved men and women brought from Africa are organizing the first African census in the history of Chile. Their aim is to get official recognition from the State that has concealed their culture and African identity for more than 200 years.
Directed by Ric.hard Salgado, Chile, 2017, 52 min, documentary, Spanish with English subtitle.
Revealing films that give a voice to black women in the developing world: * Sexy Money is a wrenching testimony of the challenges faced by two women in Nigeria struggling to navigate a corrupt and ruthless capitalist and sexist environment. * Looking for Life follows two Haitian women's daily work and the constant battle for survival that they lead together with other women in Haiti.
SEXY MONEY presents a subtle indictment of the social reality of poor women in contemporary Nigeria.
A reflection of the difficult social conditions of women in many societies in different parts of the world, SEXY MONEYexplores frontally with much sensitivity and compassion the broken hopes and hard choices of poor Nigerian women as they struggle to reintegrate Nigerian society with dignity after being expelled from Europe where they were looking for a better life. Directed by Karin Junger, 2014, 85 min, Nigeria/ Netherlands, documentary, English.
LOOKING FOR LIFE
LOOKING FOR LIFE introduces the viewer to two women, Anne-Rose and Rosemene, who each one has their own particular way of battling through life. The former makes lunches in a factory yard in Port-au-Prince and sells her meals to the factory workers on credit; the latter is employed in the same factory as a production worker making pullovers and T-shirts. By Claudette Coulanges, 1999, Haiti/Germany, Documentary, 60min, Haitian Creole w/ English subtitles.
Two documentaries that explore the life of black people in Europe. GURUMBÉ: AFRO-ANDALUSIAN MEMORIES is a documentary that explores the contribution of Africans to Spain from the 15th to the 18th centuries.THE BLACK MOZART IN CUBA celebrates the The Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a remarkable man who lived in France in the 18th century.
Flamenco is synonymous with Spanish culture. Yet, since its inception, theorists have sidelined the fundamental contribution of Afro-Andalusians to this art form. As the black population began to diminish in Spain in the late 19th century, so too did their contribution to this extraordinary art form. In Gurumbé: Afro-Andalusian Memories, their story is finally told. Directed by M. Angel Rosale, 2016, Spain/Mexico/Portugal/Senegal, documentary, 72min, Spanish and Portuguese w/ English subtitles.
BLACKS MOZART IN CUBA
Joseph Boulogne, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799), became one of the most remarkable figures of the 18th century. He influenced the music and political life of his time. He was a genius composer and conductor, a virtuoso violinist, the best fencer in Europe, as well as the first black general in the French army.
Directed by Steve James, Stephanie James, 2008, 52 min, Guadeloupe, Documentary, English, French, Spanish with English subtitles.
This is a 2-DVD set featuringTango Negro: The African Roots of Tango (Argentina and Uruguay) a revealing documentary that traces the origins of tango back to the slave trade between Africa and South America and explains how the music and dance evolved into a Latin American form with myriad styles and La Playa D.C. from Colombia (Official Selection, Cannes 2012 and 2013 Colombia Oscar submission), about an Afro-Colombian teenager who fled the country's Pacific coast pushed out by the war, and faces the difficulties of growing up in the city of Bogota.
TANGO NEGRO: THE AFRICAN ROOTS OF TANGO
Tango Negro, The African Roots of Tango by Angolan filmmaker Dom Pedro explores the expression of Tango’s Africanness and the contribution of African cultures in the creation of the tango. Tango was a reflection of the social life of the slaves that were taken to South America - including Argentina and Uruguay - mostly from central Africa, particularly from the former Kongo Kingdom. Director Dom Pedro reveals the depth of the footprints of the African music on the tango, through this rich movie combining musical performances and interviews from many tango fans and historians in Latin America and Europe, including the renowned Argentinean pianist Juan Carlos Caceres. Directed by Dom Pedro, 2013, 93 min., France, Documentary, French/Spanish/ English subt.
LA PLAYA DC
Tomas, a young black boy driven from Colombia’s Pacific coast by the war, tries to get by in Bogota, a city of exclusion and racism. Looking for Jairo, his younger brother and closest friend lost in the streets, Tomas sets out on an initiatory journey that will test his courage, nostalgia and the wounds of the past. Directed by Juan Andres Arango, 2013, Colombia, Drama, 90 min, Spanish, English subt
This two-DVD set featuring classic film "Ava & Gabriel: A Love Story" and contemporary drama "Papa's Song" serves as a window into the charming world of Curacao, part of the Dutch-owned Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean.
AVA & GABRIEL
Writer Norman DePalm offers two romantic dramas that bring to light the culture and character of the island. Set in Curacao in the 1940s, "Ava & Gabriel: A Love Story" (Felix de Rooy, 1990, 100 mins.) tells of the painter Gabriel Goedbloed, who arrives from Holland to paint a mural of the Virgin Mary in St. Anna's Church. Although Gabriel is there at the request of St. Anna's parish priest, the clergy and local citizens are surprised to find that he is black--originally from Surinam. The colonial Antillian society proves less than tolerant towards the visitor, especially after he chooses as his model a young teacher, Ava, who is engaged to a white police official. When the Dutch Governor's wife also becomes interested in Gabriel, tensions and hypocrisies rise within the community.
Directed by Felix de Rooy, Netherelands/France, 1990, Drama, Dutch andPapiamento with English subtitles
Addressing the complex and difficult state of race relations in the Netherlands, "Papa's Song" (Sander Francken, 1999, 95 mins.) is "an interesting drama of domestic tension and cross-cultural misunderstanding" (The New York Times).
The peaceful life of a Dutch magistrate, his wife from Curacao, and her two young nephews, turns suddenly volatile when the wife's sister arrives on the scene. The sisters' stormy relationship is complicated when the wife, unable to have children, tries to convince her husband to impregnate her sister.
In Dutch and Papiamento with English subtitles. Directed by Felix de Rooy/Sander Francken---Netherlands/Curacao---1990/1999---195 mins.
CONGO: WHITE KING, RED RUBBER, BLACK DEATH + BOMA TERVUREN, THE JOURNEY
CONGO: WHITE KING, RED RUBBER, BLACK DEATH
DIRECTED BY PETER BATE
CONGO AND BELGIUM / 2003 / ENGLISH / 84 MIN
This true, astonishing story of what King Leopold II did in the Congo was forgotten for over 50 years. “ Congo:White King, Red Rubber, Black Death” describes how King Leopold II of Belgium turned Congo into its private colony between 1885 and 1908. Under his control, Congo became a gulag labor camp of shocking brutality. Leopold posed as the protector of Africans fleeing Arab slave-traders but, in reality, he carved out an empire based on terror to harvest rubber. Families were held as hostages, starving to death if the men failed to produce enough wild rubber. Children's hands were chopped off as punishment for late deliveries. The Belgian government has denounced this documentary as a "tendentious diatribe" for depicting King Leopold II as the moral forebear of Adolf Hitler, responsible for the death of 10 million people in his rapacious exploitation of the Congo. Yet, it is agreed today that the first Human Rights movement was spurred by what happened in the Congo.
"(a) stunning indictment of Belgium's brutal colonization of the Congo in the late 19th century. "~VARIETY
"Evokes the ignorance of a country that would rather look up to its ugly past than down." ~ SLANT MAGAZINE
"A journey into the original “Heart of Darkness”."~ NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
DIRECTOR AND CAST
Director: Peter Bate
Starring: Roger May
Starring: Nicholas Fraser
Starring: Steve Driesen
Bonus Documentary with DVD: BOMA TERVUREN, THE JOURNEY
BOMA TERVUREN, THE JOURNEY
DIRECTED BY FRANCIS DUJARDIN
BELGIUM / 1999 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 54 MIN
The extraordinary and tragic saga of 267 Congolese, brought to Brussels for the 1897 World's Fair. After some four months of travel towards Belgium, they are exhibited before a million visitors. Subjected to the crushing gaze of the "Whites" and the cold climate, many fell prey to disease and even some lost their lives. The dead were hastily dispatched in a common grave, sparking a fierce debate in Belgian society. The project was overblown, but necessary in the eyes of the first colonizers, who presumed to have tamed the far-flung savages. One hundred years later, Congolese compatriots return to the scene of these events and question the "Whites" of today on the incredible story of that "human zoo". They carry out the ritual of "a return to the earth" by way of reparation for too great a hurt… A film that revisits a century of stereotyped conceptions about the Africans. And running through it, the almost aching question: "How is today different?"
GREAT AFRICAN FILMS: VOLUME 1 :Haramuya & Faraw! Mother of the Dunes-Two films are included in the package, making for an entertaining and edifying double feature experience: Drissa Toure’sHaramuya (1995) is a dramatic comedy about several generations of a traditional Muslim family scraping up against various temptations (crime, movies, drugs, music) of modernity in the city ofOuagadougou, the capital ofBurkina Faso, and Abbdoulaye Ascofare’sFaraw: Mother of the Dunes(1997), from Mali is about a mother of three who struggles to support her family while saving her daughter from becoming the concubine-maid of a French colonialist.
FARAW! MOTHER OF THE DUNES
Zamiatou is the mother of two quarrelsome boys and a depressed teenage girl. She is also the wife of a man arrested for political reasons who returns from prison mentally and physically destroyed. She struggles hard to survive in a poor and desolate area. She is ready to face anything to keep the family alive except prostituting her beautiful daughter. Her determination will take her far from her family… Detail by detail, this finely lensed first feature salutes the triumph of human ingenuity over terrible odds.
| Mali|1997| 90min | drama in Songhai with English subtitles | Abbdoulaye Ascofare, Dir. | Best Actress, FESPACO 1997. Cannes 1997 Official Selection, International Critics Week.
“One of the strongest portraits of female determination to come out of Africa in recent years.” ~ VARIETY
Ouagadougou, its buildings and shantytowns... Wealth in a modern town and poverty in the suburbs. Through Fousseini — a Muslim firmly attached to his faith, traditions and family, Haramuya draws a picture of Ouagadougou trapped between modernism and traditionalism. Fousseini tries to take care of his family according to the old precepts and the code of honor inherited from his ancestors. One of his sons is a cinema projectionist and supports all the family against the will of his wife. The other son idles around all day long in Ouagadougou, looking for a girlfriend.
| Burkina Faso/France |1995 | 87min |comedy in French with English subtitles |Drissa Toure, Dir. | Official selection, Cannes 1995 “Un Certain Regard.”
GREAT AFRICAN FILMS, VOLUME 2: Tasuma / Sia, the Dream of the Python- The second installment in this series of award-winning films from Africa includes Kollo Sanou's Tasuma, the Fighter (2003, 90 minutes, French and Jula with English subtitles), a look at the impact of French colonialism on Africa; Former Senegalese tirailleurs, Burkinabe soldier Sogo Sanou waits patiently for his pension, which he plans to use to build a grain mill for the women of his village; Inspired by the seventh-century myth of the Wagadu people of Western Africa is Dani Kouyate's Sia, the Dream of the Python (2001, 96 minutes, Bambara with English subtitles): To bring back prosperity to his village, a King decides to make a human sacrifice to the mystical snake god; Sia, the most beautiful woman in the village, is chosen for the ritual, but she runs away in revolt. - 186 minutes.
TASUMA, THE FIGHTER
Sogo Sanou, a.k.a. Tasuma, is a former French soldier, a part of the African troops better known as “tiralleurs senegalais” who fought in the French wars in Europe and its colonial territories. He was a soldier in the wars of Indochina and Algeria. Although an honored veteran, Tasuma spends decades painfully waiting for his small pension, an amount that in his native Burkina Faso represents a fortune, even though it will equal only a small fraction of the amount paid to his French counterparts.
In a scene that takes us back to another African classic, The Money Order by Ousmane Sembene, Tasuma impulsively buys a treadmill for the women in his village with the money represented by his future pension payment, although he doesn’t know exactly when it will come through.
The money does not arrive, and our hero is in trouble and out of patience. With his old rifle he walks into the pension plan administrator’s office and demands his money. He ends up in jail, and it is up to the women from the village to come down to the city to free Tasuma. Tasuma the Fighter, is a portrait of a bureaucratic adventure that, even 60 years after World War II and 44 years after the independence movement in Africa, is not yet resolved.
As Kollo Daniel Sanou, the director of Tasuma, points out: “The story of Tasuma is also the narration of a historic mismatch, that of the particular status of those former combatants of the African troupes in the French Army.”
|Burkina Faso|2003| 90min | comedy in French/Moore with English subtitles | Daniel Kollo Sanou, Dir. | Winner Bronze Yennenga Stallion, FESPACO 2005
"Tasuma camouflages its razor-sharp indignation with warmth and disarming grace" ~ VILLAGE VOICE
"Director and writer Kollo Daniel Sanou is in a becalmed, idyllic state of mind, as he leans back and lets this mildly satiric parable unfold." ~ THE NEW YORK TIMES
SIA: THE DREAM OF THE PYTHON
Kombi is a poverty-stricken city dominated by a tyrant king. In order to bring back prosperity, the king is advised by his priests to make the traditional human sacrifice of a young virgin to a mystical snake god. Sia, the most beautiful young woman of the village, has been designated. Lieutenant Mamadi, her fiancé, rebels against the decision to perform this ritual, and the village becomes divided. Struggles and revelations follow as the characters confront issues of honor, corruption and power.
| Burkina Faso/France |2001 | 96min |Epic Drama in Bambara with English subtitles |Dani Kouyaté, Dir. | Winner “Special Prize of the Jury” FESPACO 2001 - Official Selection Cannes 2001.
“A delightful, pointed fable of religious and political extremism that's extra-relevant at present” ~ Dennis Harvey - VARIETY
"Delivers a powerful commentary on how governments lie, no matter who runs them" NEW YORK POST
GREAT AFRICAN FILMS, VOLUME 3:Daratt (Dry Season) & The Desert Ark - The third installment in this series of award-winning films from Africa includes Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's Dry Season (2006, 95 minutes, French and Arabic with English subtitles), a subtle and often surprising film from Chad about the relationship between a young man and his father’s killer set at the end of the country’s civil war when the government has granted amnesty to war criminals - and Mohamed Chouikh's The Desert Ark (1997, 90 minutes, Arabic with English subtitles), Two teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks fall in love, their forbidden relationship pitting family against family - 185 minutes.
DARATT (DRY SEASON)
Chad, 2006. The government has granted amnesty to all war criminals. Atim, 16 years old, is given a revolver by his grandfather so that he may kill the man who killed his father. Atim leaves his village for N’djamena, seeking a man he does not know. He quickly locates him: former war criminal Nassara is now married and settled down as the owner of a small bakery. With the firm intention of killing him, Atim gets closer to Nassara under the guise of looking for work, and is hired as an apprentice baker. Intrigued by Atim's attitude toward him, Nassara takes him under his wing and teaches him the secrets of making bread. Over the weeks, a strange relationship evolves between the two. Despite his disgust, Atim seems to recognise in Nassara the father figure he has always needed, while Nassara sees the teenager as a potential son. One day, he suggests adoption. | Chad | 2006 | 95min | drama in French and Arabic with English subtitles | Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Dir. | Winner "Special Jury Prize" Venice Film Festival 2006 Winner Bronze Yennenga Stallion, FESPACO 2007
“Haroun is an uncommonly precise filmmaker who guides Daratt to an unusually satisfying ending.” - TIME OUT NEW YORK
THE DESERT ARK
Romeo and Juliet in the Algerian desert. Amin and Myriam are secretly in love. Their families are rivals and when their relationship is discovered, conflict is inevitable. From inside the cave where they have taken refuge, the two young people hear the cries of a senseless murderous raid. A universal metaphor to denounce the horror of all extremist violence, The Desert Ark is a splendid and terrifying visualization of contemporary reality..
| Algeria | 1997 | 90min |Epic Drama in Arabic with English subtitles | Mohamed Chouikh, Dir. | Winner “Best Cinematography" Special Jury Prize FESPACO 1999.
GREAT AFRICAN FILMS: VOLUME 4 The fourth installment in this series of award-winning films from Africa includes Moussa Toure's impressive "The Pirogue" and Khady Sylla's incisive docs "Colobane Express" and "The Silent Monologue."
THE PIROGUE / LA PIROGUE
Director: Moussa Toure From: Senegal / France / Germany Year: 2012 Minutes: 87mins Language : French and Wolof with English Subtitles Genre: Drama
In Moussa Toure's powerful epic fiction film, a group of 30 men and a woman sail to Europe in a pirogue, facing the sea - and the possibility of never reaching their destination - in exchange for the myth of a better life in Europe.
"Senegal, a West African nation on the Atlantic Ocean, was home to Africa's greatest movie-maker, Ousmane Sembene. Today, Moussa Toure follows in the master's footsteps with this drama of 30 men (and one woman, a stowaway) who set out on an illegal 7-day voyage to Spain - making the perilous trip in a pirogue - a boat resembling a vastly oversized dinghy. While sharing a common desire to build a better future, these men hail from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. The story grows from a finely delineated mosaic of personalities - reactions to the journey's mounting danger - that span the emotional panoply of human experience. Toure's compelling tale says as much about the universal nature of courage and perfidy as it does about the economic realities faced by so many of the world's people. THE PIROGUE was featured in Cannes 2012, in the Un Certain Regard section." ~ Film Forum.
* Festival international du Film de Cannes, Un Certain Regard, 2012 * Tanit d'or award, Carthage Film Festival, 2012 * Award for best direction, people's choice award, Angouleme, 2012 * Prix Lumieres award for best French-language film, Locarno International Film Festival
Director: Khady Sylla From: Senegal/France Year: 1999 Minutes: 52 Language: Wolof with English subtitles Genre: Docu-Drama
Public vans provide the traditional and sole means of city transportation in Dakar, Senegal. In a frenzy of activity, from the outskirts to downtown, people from all walks of life as well as fruits, vegetables, chickens, etc. are transported daily in these public vans. Colobane Express opens a window on a slice of life in the busy urban metropolis where drivers and their trainees are always on the go, managing relationships, incidents and conflicts, dealing with the competition and providing an invaluable service to demanding yet loving customers.
THE SILENT MONOLOGUE / LE MONOLOGUE DE LA MUETTE
Director: Khady Sylla and Charlie Van Damme From: Senegal / Belgium Year: 2008 Minutes:48mins Language : French and Wolof with English subtitles Genre: Docu-drama
In a voice-over, we hear the thoughts of Amy, a girl from a rural area of Senegal who works as a domestic for a well-to-do family in Dakar. She complains about her employer, who continuously criticizes her and gets on her case, and she talks about her dream of one day opening her own eatery. Meanwhile, we see her sweep the pavement, prepare the food and clean the house. The contrast with her vast and barren native region is enormous. In Dakar, some 150,000 young women work as housekeepers for families whose daughters can go to school. "Why does the emancipation of some result in the servitude of others?" Amy wonders. The filmmakers interview other young maids who dream of going to school, and they film a woman who shouts her furious lyrics straight into the camera in rapper-like fashion: "I keep your houses squeaky clean, but you all think I'm dirty!" In a dramatized scene in a slum, the women demonstrate how they'd like to deal with a woman who doesn't pay her housekeeper enough. In response to the situation, the filmmakers make an appeal to change the rules of the world economy.
Jamaican Music & Soul is a dvd that contains 2 documentaries, firstly Jerome Lapperousaz's powerful Made in Jamaica (2006) and 2nd, the classic rasta repatriation story by German film maker Fitz BaumannJourney Of The Lion(1992), which is a beautiful film that has withstood the test of time and continues to be screened at film festivals each year.
MADE IN JAMAICA
Made in Jamaica features wall-to-all music from 19 bands, including Bunny Wailer, Toots & the Maytals, Third World, Doc Marshall, and Sly Dunbar & Robby Shakespeare. Through music, interviews, and performances, this documentary explores the roots and influence of reggae and its evolution into island, rap and dancehall music. It is a powerful portrait of reggae's best musicians and of Jamaica itself - the island that spawned a musical revolution.
Jamaica/France | 2006 | 110 mins | English | Jerome Laperrousaz, Dir. |
“If you want to understand what is popular music, its power and its role in apostcolonial society like Jamaica; how the songs are able to do better than any study in sociology to translate thesufferings, the hopes, the dead-ends, the revolts, and the energy of all the people,then it is absolutely necessary to watch Made in Jamaica.” ~ LE NOUVELLE OBSERVATEUR
THE JOURNEY OF A LION
The Journey of the Lion* is a rare docudrama starring Rastafarian musician Brother Howie, who dreams of the land of his ancestors - Africa. On a journey in search of his roots and his identity he travels across three continents with his humor and sensitivity intact.
|Jamaica and Germany | 1992 | 90 mins | docu-drama | English | Fritz Baumann, dir. |
“Howard A. Trott, the subject of Fritz Baumann’s film The Journey of the Lion, is a Jamaican Rastafarian who lives an impoverished existence with his two children in a shack on the outskirts of Kingston. Disgusted with modern civilization, Brother Howie, as he is known, dreams of repatriation in Africa. Out of the blue one day, he receives a letter from the sister he hasn’t seen in 30 years inviting him to visit her in London. Leaving Jamaica for the first time in this life, he embarks on a journey that takes him to England and eventually to Egypt and Ghana. In the final scene of this eloquently simple film, Brother Howie stands on the remains of a coastal fortress and reflects on his ancestors who were carried off as slaves… “ -- Stephen Holden - The New York Times.
*"If you've not yet seen this beautiful film - The Journey of the Lion - i can highly recommend this. it's the best film i've ever seen on the subject of repatriation and Rastaliving, the film gives an accurate view of the self-sufficient rasta lifestyle which many other film-makers have attempted to document but have failed to accurately portray this. The Journey of The Lion gives real insight into the life of a single parent rasta family living in the countryside and also follows brother Howie on his journey to Africa which is fulfilling his life long dream." - Reggae Films UK
KING AMPAW is a Germany trained Ghanaian filmmaker whose work has gained international recognition. Kukurantumi, The Road to Accra, winner Film Critics Award, FESPACO 1985, is one of two feature films - with No Time to Die - in this double set DVD "A KING BEHIND THE CAMERA" that offers a good-humored depiction of life in modern Ghana.
KUKURANTUMI: THE ROAD TO ACCRA
DIRECTED BY KING AMPAW
GHANA / 1983 / ENGLISH / 95 MIN
In this revealing African comedy-drama that contrasts the hectic life in Accra, the capital of Ghana, with the relative peace of Kukurantumi, a rural town, a truck driver makes runs between the two locations with few problems until he is forced to replace his truck. In order to raise the money to get a new vehicle, he sells some stolen watches and promises his daughter in marriage to a rich merchant. Rebelling against this fate, the daughter runs off to Accra with her boyfriend -- but then nothing turns out quite like she had planned, and the rich merchant looks better with each passing day.
DIRECTOR AND CAST
Director: King Ampaw
Starring: Evans Oma
Starring: Amy Appiah
Starring: David Dontoh
Drama and Comedy
NO TIME TO DIE
DIRECTED BY KING AMPAW
GHANA AND WEST GERMANY / 2006 / ENGLISH / 95 MIN
Death and funeral traditions play a significant role in African culture. No Time to Die is director King Ampaw’s contribution to passing the tradition onto the next generation.
A hearse driver meets and falls in love with a young, beautiful dancer who is planning an elaborate homegoing celebration for her mother. This love and comedy feature length film follows David as he does everything to win her affection.
SOUTH AFRICA AND GERMANY / 2011 / ENGLISH / 90 MIN
Miriam Makeba was one of the first African musicians who won international stardom and whose music was always anchored in her traditional South African roots. Miriam Makeba was forced into exile in 1959.
She sang for John F. Kennedy, performed with Harry Belafonte and Nina Simone, was married to Hugh Masekela and also Stokely Carmichael.
Her life was tumultuous. She always stood for truth and justice. She fought for the oppressed most importantly for black Africans, as a campaigner against apartheid. She died November 2008 after a concert in Italy.
Mika Kaurismäki's documentary, traces fifty years of her music and her performing life. Through rare archive footage of her performances and through interviews with her contemporaries we discover the remarkable journey of Miriam Makeba.
DIRECTOR AND CAST
Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Starring: Hugh Masekela
Starring: Angélique Kidjo
Starring: Harry Belafonte
DIRECTED BY NTANDAZO "DIDI" GCINGCA
SOUTH AFRICA / 1999 / ENGLISH / 17 MIN
Aces is the story of a young man who fights against the battering of his mother by his drunken father. The situation escalates until Ace desperately stabs his father to death, and is sent to jail for a period of 15 years. Nine years later he is out on parole. He kills again within a day's time of his release.
GERMANY / 1999 / GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 84 MIN
A powerful film portraying institutionalized racism and police brutality, Otomo provides a convincing look at the everyday world of refugees, who are continuously surrounded by tension and insecurity. In the summer of 1989, a Stuttgart newspaper reported the true story of a West African asylum seeker who physically assaulted an intolerant subway ticket-taker; fled, and became the target of a city-wide manhunt. Otomo is a sober, fictionalized reconstruction of a tale that shocked Stuttgart, and a gripping portrait of how institutionalized racism drives a disempowered individual to violence and inhumanity.
West African immigrant Frederic Otomo (Isaach de Bankole) lacks the proper papers to be hired for the most menial of jobs; he has survived for eight years with the help of a Catholic charity. Otomo is the target of verbal abuse, is thrown out of his boarding house, and even scorned by neighborhood dogs. He feels and looks out of place. A stoic bubbling pot of wrath on the run, de Bankole's performance establishes Otomo's essence without words-language cannot express the gravity of his situation. As a ticking soundtrack counts down his fated minutes, Otomo is helped by a kind, aging hippie and her granddaughter, establishing the potential for an inclusive German society….if it is not too late...
DIRECTOR AND CAST
Director: Frieder Schlaich
Starring: Isaach de Bankole
Starring: Eva Mattes
Starring: Barnaby Metschurat
DVD also includes Bonus film
Waalo Fendo: Where the Earth Freezes
WAALO FENDO: WHERE THE EARTH FREEZES
DIRECTED BYMOHAMMED SOUDANI
SENGAL AND SWITZERLAND / 1998 / WOLOF WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 65 MIN
Milan, like Paris or Stuttgart, and like many other European cities, is the theater of the drama of immigration. Demba reconstructs his story and that of his brother Yaro, both Senegalese immigrants in Italy, in a long and fragmentary flashback that begins with Yaro’s murder and recounts their departure from the village, arrival in Europe, the work they find selling lighters and picking tomatoes in the south of Italy: the stages every “non-EEC citizen” goes through in Italy. It is a story of immigration like so many others but that most people are unaware of. Waalo Fendo illustrates the dehumanization faced by so many immigrants all over the world.
Race and its impact on the art and history of Brazil are highlighted in this two-disc set with Joel Zito Araujo's documentary Denying Brazil (A Negacao do Brasil, 92 mins) and Geraldo Santos Pereira's Aleijadinho: Passion, Glory and Torment (Aleijadinho: Paixao, Gloria e Suplicio, 100 mins.)
Denying Brazil A Negacao do Brasil
A documentary film about the taboos, stereotypes, and struggles of Black actors in Brazilian television "soaps." Based on his own memories and on a sturdy body of research evidence, the director analyzes race relations in Brazilian soap operas, calling attention to their likely influence on Black people's identity-forming processes
Aleijadinho: Passion, Glory and Torment Aleijadinho: Paixao, Gloria e Suplicio
Set in 18th century Brazil - a time when slavery was still the foundation of the Latin American economy - this fascinating historical drama is loosely based on the life of Black sculptor Antonio Francisco Lisboa "Aleijadinho," one of the greatest sculptors of Latin America. “[DENYING BRAZIL is] a strong and significant work of intelligence." – Phil Hall, FILM THREAT
“[Aleijadinho is an] ambitious biopic of 18th century black Brazilian sculptor/architect Antonio Francisco Lisboa (aka Aleijadinho).” – Ronnie Scheib, VARIETY
RACE AND IMMIGRATION IN EUROPE with BORDERS andTHE GLASS CEILING
Two films connecting Africa and Europe: Borders about the life of those Africans trying to slip illegally into Europe in search of a better life and The Glass Ceiling depicting stories of some of the challenges faced by European born children of African immigrants.
The story of Six men and a woman set out on the hazardous journey from Senegal to Morocco in a bid to slip illegally into Europe to escape from the poverty and internecine warfare of Africa. All are lured by the promise of a better life, but the challenges are numerous. France/Algeria, 2002, 102 min, Drama, French with English subtitles, Mostefa Djadjam, dir.
THE GLASS CEILING
Europe’s racial make-up is quickly changing. French-Algerian filmmaker Yamina Benguigui is hoping to start a conversation about affirmative action - a policy that does not exist in France today. Benguigui’s Le Plafond de Verre / The Glass Ceiling presents a series of sometimes very emotional first-hand accounts of discrimination against mostly black and North African Arab who are trying to find jobs. The documentary offers poignant and revealing accounts of discrimination faced by these full-fledged French citizens who are also children of immigrant parents. France, 2004, 90 min, documentary, French with English subtitles, Yamina Benguigui, dir.
RASTAS & MAROONS is a 2-DVD set featuringThe First Rasta (Jamaica/France) a revealing documentary about Leonard Percival Howell, the man who created the Rasta Movement and Aluku Liba, Maroon Again (French Guiana/Canada), a rare docu-drama about the Aluku or Boni, a Maroon ethnic group living mainly on the riverbank in Maripasoula, southwest French Guiana.
THE FIRST RASTA Thirty years after Bob Marley's death, it is time to pay tribute to Leonard Percival Howell,The First Rasta. At the beginning of the last century, the young Leonard Percival Howell (1893- 1981) left Jamaica, became a sailor and traveled the world. On his way, he chanced upon all the ideas that stirred his time. From Bolshevism to New Thought, from Gandhi to Anarchism, from Garveyism to psychoanalysis, he sought to find his promised land. With this cocktail of ideas Leonard "Gong" Howell returned to Jamaica and founded Pinnacle, the first Rasta community.
Going far beyond the standard imagery of Rasta - ganja, reggae, and dreadlocks -this cultural history offers an uncensored vision of a movement with complex roots and the exceptional journey of a man who taught an enslaved people how to be proud and impose their culture on the world. In the 1920s, Leonard Percival Howell and the First Rastas had a revelation concerning the divinity of Haile Selassie, king of Ethiopia, that established the vision for the most popular mystical movement of the 20th century, Rastafarianism. Although jailed, ridiculed, and treated as insane, Howell, also known as the Gong, established a Rasta community of 4,500 members, the first agro-industrial enterprise devoted to producing marijuana. In the late 1950s the community was dispersed, disseminating Rasta teachings throughout the ghettos of the island. A young singer named Bob Marley adopted Howell's message, and through Marley's visions, reggae made its explosion in the music world.
Directed by Helene Lee, 2011, 90 min, France/Jamaica, Doc, English
ALUKU LIBA, MAROON AGAIN
Maroons are free Africans who escaped slavery in the Caribbean, Central, South and North America, and formed independent settlements.
Aluku Liba: Maroon Again is a rare docu-drama about the Aluku or Boni, a Maroon ethnic group living mainly on the riverbank in Maripasoula, southwest French Guiana.
The film follows Loeti who has spent years away from his village in French Guiana, working in extreme conditions. When the army cracks down on illegal gold mining in the Amazon forest, he is forced to flee and must use the skills he learned as a child to survive in the forest. His only hope is to find his way home to his people and reclaim his Maroon past and culture.
Directed by Nicolas Jolliet, 2009, 90 min, Canada/French Guiana/Suriname, Docu-Drama
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE
SCHEHERAZDE, TELL ME A STORY
DIRECTED BY YOUSRY NASRALLAH
EGYPT / 2009 / ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 135 MIN
SCHEHERAZADE: TELL ME A STORY is a tale ripped from today’s headlines and yet a clever reference to the myths and lore of the Middle East.Â Â When her husband (Hassan Saeed) asks her to tone down the subversive political rhetoric on her program, Egyptian talk show host Hebba (Mona Zaki) draws even more heat by beginning a series that explores the experience of women in contemporary Egypt. As three women speak out about the mistreatment they've suffered in a deeply patriarchal society, Hoda must contend with her own disintegrating marriage. Yousry Nasrallah directs this drama.
DIRECTOR AND CAST
Director: Yousry Nasrallah
Starring: Mona Zaki
Starring: Rehab El Gamal
Starring: Hassan El Raddad
Also features Fallen Angels Paradise
FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE (GANNAT AL SHAYATEEN)
DIRECTED BY OUSSAMA FAWZI
EGYPT / 1999 / ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 80 MIN
A homeless man dies of an overdose in a popular Cairo neighborhood. He was once an ideal husband and represented security for his family. Then one day, everything changed. Upon his death his friends from the underworld drag the corpse around for a whole night of madness, drinking and hallucinating situations. A game with death where the dead man becomes more alive than the living and fallen angels live according to their own rules, laws and desires in the chaos of the Egyptian capital. The film is based on a famous short story written by the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado.
LIfe of women after military service is seldom portrayed in films. The drama Stand Down Soldier tells the story of Sergeant Stacy Armstrong who returns home from three deployments suffering with Paustromatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Soon after her return, she and her husband realise their 20-year marriage is about to be another casualty of war. Infidelity, addiction, and a tragic accident test the couple’s commitment.
This fiction film explores some of the issues many returning soldiers confront in their civil life including mental health issues, loneliness, and drug addiction.
DIRECTOR AND CAST
Director: Jeryl Prescott
Starring: Jeryl Prescott
Starring: Maria Russell
Starring: Harry Lennix
DIRECTED BYFELIX DE ROOY
NETHERLANDS AND USA / 1984 / ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 96 MIN
Set in Brooklyn, New York this Dutch film is based on a true story that appeared on a New York newspaper in 1980.
Desirée lives in the past. A series of flashbacks expose us to her psychologically troubled childhood very much affected by a promiscous mother. Her present life evolves around three people: her employer Mrs. Resnick, Freddy, her lover and Father Siego, leader of the church "The True Confessors".
Desirée's relationship with each one of these characters is at the origin of her falling apart. Freddy is an insecure black man who finishes their love affair with a sad note, Father Siego is the leader of a rigid narrow-minded religious sect and Mrs Resnick is a racist, prejudiced white woman who feels black people are inferior and incapable of living their own live.
Rejected by all because of her pregnancy, Desirée blames her child as the source of evil. She is then possessed by evil and wants to exorcise it. The only way is to get rid of her daughter...