A-Z Films

ARUGBA

ARUGBA

Regular price $245.00
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ARUGBA

DIRECTED BY TUNDE KELANI
NIGERIA / 2008 / YORUBA WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 97 MIN

SYNOPSIS

In “Arugbá, the latest masterpiece by leading Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani, the king of a small town in south-western Nigeria makes much publicized statements against corruption while instituting economic reforms and embracing foreign investors. But the reforms don’t appear to be trickling down to the people, the king trusts no one and has a weakness for women, which compromises his leadership.

Meanwhile, preparations are being made for a traditional ritual in which a young virgin – the arugbá – carries a sacrificial calabash.  Adetutu is the beautiful young priestess selected by the oracle to carry the sacred calabash at the Osun Osogbo festival. The calabash can only be carried by a virgin, and after being abducted by three men, Adetutu’s chastity and suitability as the chosen one is questioned. Interwoven with themes of balance, love, loyalty, and loss, her tale also explores issues of governance, political corruption, HIV/AIDS and the influence of modernity over convention, all within the context of a culture that is rich with traditional values yet marred by traditional viewpoints.

With superb performances from Awoyemi and some of Nigeria’s leading actors, “Arugbá” is a beautifully executed film which functions as an allegory for contemporary Nigeria.  Set against the backdrop of a corrupt society seeking cleansing, rebirth and nationhood, with all its attendant intrigues, the film intimately presents a world in which modernity and tradition exist alongside each other but seldom in equilibrium.
DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Tunde Kelani
Starring: Segun Adefila
Starring: Bukola Awoyemi
Starring: Peter Badejo
 

GENRES

  • Drama
  • Fiction 
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AS FAR AS I CAN WALK
AS FAR AS I CAN WALK
AS FAR AS I CAN WALK
AS FAR AS I CAN WALK
AS FAR AS I CAN WALK
AS FAR AS I CAN WALK

AS FAR AS I CAN WALK

Regular price $445.00
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As Far as I Can Walk Trailer - Art from ArtMattan Productions on Vimeo.

As Far as I Can Walk is a 2021 internationally co-produced drama directed by Serbian Oscar-nominated director (for his 2003 short film '(A)Torsion') Stefan Arsenijevic that follows a couple who left Ghana with a dream of a better life in Europe and now live as refugees in Belgrade.

22-year-old Siisi, nicknamed Strahinja, is doing everything to integrate in Serbia. He volunteers for the Red Cross in the camp where he lives, looks for work, plays on the local football team... His biggest challenge, however, is to win back the woman he loves. When she disappears one day, Strahinja sets out to find her.

As Far as I Can Walk is a re-imagining of a traditional medieval epic in which contemporary African migrants take the place of Serbian national heroes. Urgent and timeless at the same time, the adaptation raises questions about identity, tradition, race and love.

It premiered at the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2021 where it won five prizes including the main Grand Prix – Crystal Globe and the Best Actor honor awarded to Ibrahim Koma for his starring performance in the film.

By Strahinja Banović / Serbia / France / Luxembourg / Bulgaria / Lithuania / 2021 / 92 min / English and Serbian with English Sub.

 

It’s a surprising and exhilarating blend of contemporary refugee story, love triangle and medieval Serbian poem.” ~ Alisa Simon, Variety

In his masterfully directed picture Stefan Arsenijević delivers a crystal clear, humanistic account of the need to find one’s place in the world; this is also a tale of love, the most profound testimony of which might also be the most painful.” ~ Lenka Tyrpáková, Karlovy Vary FF

“Arsenijević's film is vividly crafted and performed. The predominantly English-language film should gather interest [ ] on the strength of its topicality and emotional accessibility.” ~ Guy Lodge, Variety

The refugees are presented as broken and poor, but dignified, and as opposed to many other similarly themed films, we get real, flesh-and-blood characters in Strahinja and Ababuo, with well-defined personalities, pasts and hopes for the future. And therein lies the film's greatest strength: both actors are positively magnetic on the screen, but especially Koma, whose drive and extraordinary charisma often collide with Mensah-Offei's pride and headstrong ambition.” ~ Vladan Petkovic, Cineuropa

One of Arsenijevic’s avowed goals with As Far as I Can Walk was to portray refugees as distinct individuals with inner lives, dreams and aspirations, not just blank statistics. In this he is admirably successful.” ~ Stephen Dalton, Verdict

 

ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE FILM

“Arsenijević’s hometown Belgrade marks an important point on the Balkan migrant route. A few years ago, he could see thousands of new refugees arriving every day. He says, “Having my own experience of war and poverty in the 90s, I could easily identify. I started talking with migrants, hearing their experiences. There was this moving story of epic proportions happening right in front of me. It was just important to find the right angle to tell it.” As the migrant crisis grew, many locals promulgated paranoid fears that migrants would take over European culture by imposing their own. “National identity and national heritage are touchy subjects in my country,” says Arsenijević. “So, it occurred to me: what if I replace Serbian national heroes with contemporary African migrants? I thought this could provide some interesting perspectives.”  ~ Alisa Simon, Variety

 

WATCH AS FAR AS I CAN WALK IN THEATRES

 

THEATRE  CITY/STATE OPENS
IFC Center New York, NY June 30, 2023

 


 




 




 


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ASHAKARA

ASHAKARA

Regular price $195.00
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ASHAKARA

DIRECTED BY GERARD LOUVIN 
BURKINA-FASO, TOGO, SWITZERLAND, AND FRANCE / 1991 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 90 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Set in Togo, West Africa, Ashakara is a modern African tale. An African doctor finds a cure to a deadly virus and decides to mass produce the drug at low cost in Africa. However, a pharmaceutical multinational does not want the doctor to succeed and sends an agent to Africa first to buy the drug then to destroy it...Mixing action, suspense, good humor, and a lucid depiction of the contemporary African continent, Ashakara entertains and educates all at once.
Official Selection, Cognac International Festival of the Thriller, 1992
DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Gerard Louvin
Starring: James Campbell
Starring: Jean-Marc Pasquet
Starring: Willy Monshengwo
 

GENRES

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AVA AND GABRIEL

AVA AND GABRIEL

Regular price $295.00
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AVA AND GABRIEL

DIRECTED BY FELIX DE ROOY 
HOLLAND AND CURACAO / 1990 / DUTCH AND PAPAMIENTU WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 100 MIN

SYNOPSIS

The story takes place on the island of Curacao in the late Forties.Upon request of Father Fidelius, parish priest of St. Anna's, the Surinam painter Gabriel Goedbloed arrives from Holland to paint a mural of the Virgin Mary in St. Anna's Church. The drama unfolds from different angles. First the clergy and locals are confused by the fact that the painter is black, originating from Surinam, but resettled in The Hague, where he received a Fine Art education.



The close knit Antillian society did not welcome strangers who would not conform to their colonial way of life in those days. Contributing factors arise when he chooses a young teacher, Miss Ava Recordina, who is from mixed origin, to be his model for the painting of the Virgin Mary. Ava is engaged to the white police major Carlos Zarius who is not too happy with his fiancé posing for the painter.

The fact that the Dutch Governor's wife, Louise van Hansschot, is interested in Gabriel also fuels the tension. In the end, Gabriel Goedbloed falls victim to the controversies, hypocrisies and intrigues that have arisen around his person and his paintings.

WINNER: Jury Prize, Festival International de Cine Latino Americano, Havana Cuba, 1990

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Felix de Rooy
Starring: Nashaira Desbarida
Starring: Cliff San-A-Jong
Starring: Theu Boermans
 

GENRES

  • Drama
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BACK OF THE MOON: SOPHIATOWN 1958
BACK OF THE MOON: SOPHIATOWN 1958
BACK OF THE MOON: SOPHIATOWN 1958
BACK OF THE MOON: SOPHIATOWN 1958
BACK OF THE MOON: SOPHIATOWN 1958
BACK OF THE MOON: SOPHIATOWN 1958

BACK OF THE MOON: SOPHIATOWN 1958

Regular price $395.00
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Back Of the Moon Trailer - Art from ArtMattan Productions on Vimeo.

BACK OF THE MOON: SOPHIATOWN 1958

Oscar-nominated South African director, Angus Gibson, takes us back to the glitz and menace of Sophiatown in his stylish new film, Back Of The Moon. Starring Richard Lukunku and Moneoa Moshesh.

28 July 1958. Badman, an intellectual and the leader of the most powerful gang in Sophiatown, lives life on his own terms in this crazy, cosmopolitan, half demolished ghetto on the edge of Johannesburg. The gorgeous Eve Msomi, a torch-singer on the brink of an international career, is giving her last concert in the local hall before she travels to London. Tomorrow, legions of Apartheid police will force the residents of Gerty street out of their homes and they will be trucked to a desolate township, ten miles out of the city.

Refusing to face the bleak reality of black South African life, Badman has decided that he will fight to the death for his home. But fate, thrusts Eve Msomi, whom he has loved from a distance, into his orbit. And on this night that bears this beautiful encounter, Badman’s gang, The Vipers, sensing his vulnerability, turns on them both.


Directed by Angus Gibson, South Africa, 2019, 95min, Drama, Zulu w/English subtitles

Eve is kind of a character that was based on Miriam Makeba on the eve that she leaves for London. So you have this great talent that you know is being driven out of this country and then Badman, played by Richard Lukunku, is an intellectual, he should have been a leader in the community and in order to hold his head up high, he has become a gangster. So both of these pretty fabulous characters are lost to South Africa. That is something that I find sad.”  ~ Director August Wilson

AWARDS

South African Film and Television Awards (2020)
Best Achievement in Costume Design - Feature Film

Black Film Festival Montreal, Canada (2020) 
Best International Narrative Feature

Durban International Film Festival, South Africa (2019) 
Best South African Narrative Feature

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BARROW: FREEDOM FIGHTER
BARROW: FREEDOM FIGHTER
BARROW: FREEDOM FIGHTER
BARROW: FREEDOM FIGHTER
BARROW: FREEDOM FIGHTER
BARROW: FREEDOM FIGHTER
BARROW: FREEDOM FIGHTER
BARROW: FREEDOM FIGHTER

BARROW: FREEDOM FIGHTER

Regular price $295.00
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BARROW: FREEDOM FIGHTER

DIRECTED BY MARCIA WEEKS
BARBADOS/ 2016/ DOCUMENTARY IN ENGLISH/ 74 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Narrated by former United States Attorney General Eric Holder whose father is from Barbados, the Errol Barrow docudrama, BARROW: FREEDOM FIGHTER tells the story of The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow who successfully led Barbados to independence on November 30th, 1966 after more than 300 years as a British colony.

 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Marcia Weekes
Cast: Eric Holder, Adrian Holmes, Lisa Arrindell-Anderson, Robert Riley
 

GENRES

  • Docu-Drama
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BEZNESS

BEZNESS

Regular price $195.00
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BEZNESS

DIRECTED BY NOURI BOUZID 
TUNISIA / 1992 / ARAB WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 100 MIN
Official selection, Cannes 1992

SYNOPSIS

"Bezness" takes place in one of Tunisia's beautiful coastline tourist cities. it tells the contemporary story of a young man trapped between Arab tradition and prostitution. Through this young man who dreams of escape, the Director, Nouri Bouzid, criticizes both the restrictions associated with what he calls "the hypocrisy of Islam" and the European ruling on Arab society.
In many ways, Bezness is the most provocative of all Bouzid’s films. It is the first Arab film to deal with explicitly gay themes, and to situate male prostitution within the context of forced female seclusion and gender segregation.” ~ Garay Menicucci, Middle East Research and Information Project
DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Nouri Bouzid 
Starring: Abdellatif Kechiche
Starring: Jacques Penot
Starring: Ghalia Lacroix
 

GENRES

  • Drama
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BILATENA, THE GOLDEN CHILD

BILATENA, THE GOLDEN CHILD

Regular price $295.00
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BILATENA, THE GOLDEN CHILD

Directed by Kinfe Banbu, 2014 | Ethiopia | Drama | 105 min | Amharic w/ English subtitles

 

SYNOPSIS

Bilatena tells us the story of Abi, a young boy who is representative of million of children in Africa who do not attend school and work to sustain their families. Childhood Destroyed from Chad tells a similar story from a girl's perspective. Bilatena also introduces us to the problems of the Ethiopian health system.

Abi, a dynamic and resourceful twelve year old boy, lives with his mother Degua and his 26 year old university graduate unemployed brother Zelalem (Zele). Abi, who is a a hyper-industrious hard working 12-year-old boy with two jobs, supports his poor mother and his older unemployed brother through their day to day lives.

But when their mother dies of Hepatitis B and Abi is also infected with the virus, Zele must face the big challenge of supporting his own life and keeping his younger brother alive by earning the 20,000 Ethiopian birr per month needed for his brother's medication.

"A fairy tale with a real-life grit" Celia Wren, The Washington Post

"Answering questions via e-mail from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Bilatena producer Melkam Yideg said the story drew on Banbu’s experience growing up in a neighborhood of the Ethiopian capital where children often skip school to earn money for their families. While drawing attention to this phenomenon, and to the importance of industriousness in general, the movie also aims to raise awareness about hepatitis, Yideg says. “From the feedback we [have received] from our audience, we can proudly say that we have met our goal,” she says." ~ Celia Wren, The Washington Post

 

DIRECTOR

Director: Kinfe Banbu
 

GENRES

  • Drama

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BLACK & LATINO

BLACK & LATINO

Regular price $345.00
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Two films that  explore the Black & Latino experience.

Set in the USA, INVISIBLE COLOR: AFRO-CUBANS IN MIAMI is a documentary about the history and  living experience of Afro-Cubans in Miami.



MESTIZO is a drama set in 1940 Venezuela about the conflicted identity of José Vargas, the  illegitimate son of a white colonial administrator and a poor black  fisher-woman.

INVISIBLE COLOR:  AFRO-CUBANS IN MIAMI

This latest documentary by the Dean of Afro-Cuban Cinema, Sergio Giral, investigates the black Cuban exile community in South Florida, since the first wave of political refugees in the 1959 revolutionary aftermath, to today. It tracks its presence throughout the region, and highlights its contribution to Miami’s civic culture through testimonies and visual documentation.

Directed by Sergio Giral / 2017 / USA / Cuba / English and Spanish with English subtitles / 47 min.

MESTIZO

The action takes place in a village on the Venezuelan coast, a place of fishermen and big haciendas. Jose Ramon, son of a white aristocrat and a humble black fisher-women, is trying to  define his own identity while dealing with social and sexual conflicts, power, culture, the law, and the impossible relationship he has with both his parents.

Directed by Mario Handler / 1989 / Venezuela / Spanish with English  subtitles / 82 Min.

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BLACK DJU

BLACK DJU

Regular price $195.00
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BLACK DJU

DIRECTED BY POL CRUCHTEN
CAPE VERDE AND LUXEMBOURG / 1997 / PORTUGUESE & FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 80 MIN

SYNOPSIS

From the sea and sun of the Cape Verde Island, it's a very big step to rainy, gloomy, land-locked Luxembourg, but that's the journey 20-year-old Dju Dele Dibonga must take to track down his dad, whose yearly visits and monthly guest worker checks have stopped. But it's not just the weather that's not welcoming, Dju also has to face overzealous immigration cops intent on filling deportation quotas and the noisy outrage of a hard-boozing police lieutenant (veteran actor Philippe Léotard). Dad's trail looks cold, until lieutenant decides to join in the hunt and to become Dju's partner in this tale of love and friendship. With the exceptional participation of Cape Verdian singer Cesaria Evora as Dju's mother and Manu Dibango as himself.
DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Pol Cruchten 
Starring: Philippe Leotard
Starring: Richard Courcet
Starring: Patrice-Flora Praxo
 

GENRES

  • Drama
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BLACK MEXICANS / LA NEGRADA

BLACK MEXICANS / LA NEGRADA

Regular price $295.00
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Black Mexicans Trailer Eng Sub - ArtMattan Films from ArtMattan Productions on Vimeo.

THE BLACK MEXICANS / LA NEGRADA

DIRECTED BY JORGE PEREZ SOLANO
MEXICO / 2018 / SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 104 MIN
SYNOPSIS

Critically acclaimed drama Black Mexicans / La Negrada by Jorge Pérez has recently been acquired by Artmattan Productions!

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.

Among the black people in the Costa Chica in Oaxaca, it is socially accepted that a man lives with more than one woman. Juana and Magdalena share Neri’s love, they both know that this situation is hurting them. Juana will have to die in order to show Magdalena a new path for her life.

In Mexico, the afro communities represents only 1% of the total population. They have never been recognized as an ethnic group, nation or culture, suffering discrimination as an outcast group. LA NEGRADA is the first Mexican fiction movie filmed entirely in one of those black communities, with local people, no professional actors. An effort to give them voice and make them visible.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Jorge Perez Solano
 

GENRES

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BLACK WOMEN SPEAK OUT!

BLACK WOMEN SPEAK OUT!

Regular price $295.00
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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

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 MONEY explores 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.

 

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BLACKS IN EUROPE

BLACKS IN EUROPE

Regular price $445.00
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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.

GURUMBE

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 Rosales, 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.

 

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BOMA-TERVUREN, THE JOURNEY (LE VOYAGE)

BOMA-TERVUREN, THE JOURNEY (LE VOYAGE)

Regular price $195.00
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BOMA-TERVUREN, THE JOURNEY (LE VOYAGE) 

DIRECTED BY FRANCIS DUJARDIN
BELGIUM / 1999 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 54 MIN

SYNOPSIS

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?"
DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Frances Dujardin
 

GENRES

  • Documentary

 
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BREAKING BOUNDARIES
BREAKING BOUNDARIES
BREAKING BOUNDARIES
BREAKING BOUNDARIES
BREAKING BOUNDARIES
BREAKING BOUNDARIES

BREAKING BOUNDARIES

Regular price $395.00
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Breaking Boundaries is a captivating feature-length documentary that follows the journey of Nastasya Generalova, a determined black Californian teenager raised by her single white Russian mother, Olga. Enrolled in rhythmic gymnastics at the age of four to connect with her mother's homeland, Nastasya faces systemic biases and limited resources as the only black girl in Team USA. As she strives to become the first African-American rhythmic gymnast from the USA to compete in the Olympic Games, the film delves into the emotional and physical challenges she encounters, highlighting her resilience, ambition, and the unwavering support of her mother. This poignant story offers a unique perspective on racial diversity and the personal struggles of breaking boundaries in a predominantly white sport.

Directed by Dina Burris, 2024, 76 mins, USA, Documentary, English and Russian with English subtitles.

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CANDOMBE

CANDOMBE

Regular price $195.00
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CANDOMBE

DIRECTED BY RAFAEL DEUGENIO 
URUGUAY / 1993 / SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 16 MIN  
SYNOPSIS

More than two hundred years ago, there was an influx into Uruguay of enslaved Africans whom, after being freed, continued to make up the poorest and most marginalized strata in society. Fernando Nunez, a black man, a musician, and a maker of drums, sees himself as the heir to "Candombe", an important social and cultural legacy from his enslaved forefathers.  The official history and culture of Uruguay, on the other hand, which has never acknowledged this contribution to the degree which it deserves, continues to marginalize expressions of black culture. Fernando Nunez and his friends from the Barrio Sur back street quarter of Montevideo have decided to fight to keep these important cultural roots alive in the consciousness of the Uruguayan people.

 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Rafael Deugenio
 

GENRES

  • Docu-drama
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CAPE VERDE MY LOVE

CAPE VERDE MY LOVE

Regular price $245.00
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CAPE VERDE MY LOVE 

DIRECTED BY ANA LUCIA RAMOS LISBOA
CAPE VERDE / 2007 /  CREOLE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 77 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Praïa, 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.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Ana Lucia Ramos Lisboa
Starring: Eric Bridges Twahirwa
Starring: Cleophas Kabasita 
Starring: Davis Kagenza 
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
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CATCH A FIRE

CATCH A FIRE

Regular price $145.00
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CATCH A FIRE 

DIRECTED BY MENELIK SHABAZZ 
JAMAICA and U.K. / 1995 / ENGLISH / 30 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Catch a Fire tells the story of Deacon Paul Bogle, often described as a 19th century Malcom X. 30 years after the end of slavery in Jamaica, the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865 provoked outrage in Victorian Britain shaping race and land attitudes. The story is constructed using extensive interviews with Paul Bogle's grand son as well as archive material.

DIRECTOR AND CAST
 
Director: Menelik Shabazz
 

GENRES

  • Docu-drama
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CELL 512

CELL 512

Regular price $295.00
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CELL 512

DIRECTED BY MISSA HÉBIÉ
BURKINA FASO / 2015 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 99 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Cell 512 that takes a critical look at the prison and legal systems in Burkina Faso, the issue of corruption and the status of women in society.

Honorine, a married woman from a modest background with two young children and a loving husband is involved in a car accident that causes the death of a 17-year-old boy. The young man was the son of a rich and vindictive business man who makes every effort to ensure Honorine gets the worst treatment possible when she is sent to prison.

Through the life experiences of Honorine in prison, the film shows the harsh laws and vices of prison life: sexual harassment, physical and emotional violence, promiscuity and obligation to suffer without complaint or murmur. All these evils are the fruit of the imagination of officials and prison guards, and of prisoners themselves as they seek to meet their needs and their libido. Justice, only recourse of the weak, is mired in a system of corruption, influence peddling, where the reason of the strongest and the richest prevails.

Cell 512 received the prestigious Catholic Church-sponsored SIGNIS award during FESPACO 2015. SIGNIS, as an international association, promotes media for a culture of peace. The SIGNIS prize is always awarded to a film that promotes gospel, human or Christian values. Cell 512 received the award for “addressing matters that promote the integrity of family values in the face of severe challenges, presenting the relationship between men and women as complementary, and for its attention for the poor.”

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Missa Hébié
Starring: Ousseini Ouedraogo
Starring: Baru Oumar Ouédraogo
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
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CHILDHOOD DESTROYED

CHILDHOOD DESTROYED

Regular price $195.00
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CHILDHOOD DESTROYED

DIRECTED BY ZARA M. YACOUB 
CHAD / 1999 / ARABIC DIALECT AND FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 26 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Eleven year old Mariam works as a domestic to provide for her guardian, her unemployed Uncle Djimet, and his family. Mariam wakes up early each day to go to work while Djimet, his wife Isabelle and their children are still asleep. Mariam works as an all-purpose maid, housekeeper, cook and baby sitter for the Nadji family. With her many tasks, she is constantly under pressure from Nadji and his son Moussa, and must answer to the whims of his wife, and young children. One day, Mariam is arrested for having unwittingly thrown rubbish in a prohibited place. She is detained for five days in prison without her uncle or employer even inquiring of her whereabouts. "Childhood destroyed" denounces the living conditions of young girls in Chad in a delicate yet powerful way.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Zara M. Yacoub
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
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Citizen Kwame

Citizen Kwame

Regular price $395.00
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CITIZEN KWAME

“Citizen Kwame” is a Kafkaesque film about travel visas and brain drain in Africa. It tells the story of Kwame, an ambitious African man who wants to travel outside his country. However, he must first obtain a visa from a white Western gatekeeper who controls movements in and out of the house. It is only with the help of a newly acquired white Western girlfriend that he succeeds.

“This film explores universal themes such as freedom of movement, family and friendship, in a way that is meant to make the audience reflect on them,"  ~ Yuhi Amuli

Rwanda, 2023, 81 mins, drama in English, Yuhi Amuli, dir. 

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COLOBANE EXPRESS

COLOBANE EXPRESS

Regular price $195.00
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COLOBANE

DIRECTED BY KHADY SYLLA 
SENEGAL AND FRANCE / 1999 / WOLOF WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 52 MIN
SYNOPSIS

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.

 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Khady Sylla
 

GENRES

  • Docu-Drama
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COLORS OF CURACAO

COLORS OF CURACAO

Regular price $295.00
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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 and Papiamento with English subtitles

 

PAPA'S SONG

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.

 

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CONGO: WHITE KING, RED RUBBER, BLACK DEATH + BOMA TERVUREN, THE JOURNEY

CONGO: WHITE KING, RED RUBBER, BLACK DEATH + BOMA TERVUREN, THE JOURNEY

Regular price $245.00
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CONGO: WHITE KING, RED RUBBER, BLACK DEATH

DIRECTED BY PETER BATE 
CONGO AND BELGIUM / 2003 / ENGLISH / 90 MIN
SYNOPSIS

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 
 

GENRES

  • Documentary
  • Bonus Documentary with DVD: BOMA TERVUREN, THE JOURNEY 

BOMA TERVUREN, THE JOURNEY

DIRECTED BY FRANCIS DUJARDIN
BELGIUM / 1999 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 54 MIN

SYNOPSIS

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?"

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Frances Dujardin
 

GENRES

  • Documentary

 
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