A-Z Films

KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS

KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS

Regular price $245.00
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KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS 

DIRECTED BY MICHEL OCELOT 
SENEGAL AND FRANCE / 1998 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES OR DUBBED WITH ENGLISH / 70 MIN

SYNOPSIS

This animated film exquisitely recounts the tale of tiny Kirikou born in an African village in which Karaba the Sorceress has placed a terrible curse. Kirikou sets out on a quest to free his village of the curse and find out the secret of why Karaba is so wicked.

Lisa Nesselson of Variety (11/1/99) notes: "KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS employs snappy visuals to tell a catchy story for all ages. A blend of African folktales "Kirikou" has both humor and flair." KIRIKOU depicts a precocious newborn infant who battles ignorance, and so-called evil, with endearing perseverance. This film speaks to the child within us all who yearns to express and defend the best in others and ourselves. KIRIKOU's stunning visuals are accented by a traditional music soundtrack by African music giant Youssou N'Dour of Senegal.

Also, see the official Kirikou web site.

"A blend of African folktales Kirikou has both humor and flair. Kirikou and the Sorceressemploys snappy visuals to tell a catchy story for all ages." - Lisa Nesselson of Variety 

“Kids will love Kirikou and the Sorceress, an offbeat carton feature about an alarmingly brainy tot. The lesson taught by Kirikou, that an evildoer actually is someone in pain, is a good one for kids to learn early” - The Record

“In its 16-year history, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival’s two juries – one comprising children, the other adults – had never given their top prized to the same film, until last year, when both juries honored Kirikou and the Sorceress, a beautifully animated first feature by French filmmaker Michel Ocelot about an African boy’s battle with an evil witch for the soul of his people. Filled with lessons about morality, bravery, selflessness and compassion, Kirikou and the Sorceress is top-shelf family entertainment.” - Chicago Tribune.

Kirikou and the Sorceress is magic from a clear sky. Dazzlingly painted images limn forth this folklore based animated feature by French-born, Guinea-raised Michel Ocelot. A newborn toddler whose simple powers are speed, mischief and ingenuity outwits an evil sorceress who comes on like a bead-bedecked Gloria Swanson. In the best tradition of National Geographic ethnography, everyone is naked, beads apart, and the scenery is gorgeous. Kirikou and the Sorceress is funny, charming, wise, beautiful, and exciting…” Arts section - Financial Times

"Should appeal to younger children and to adults who can appreciate its quiet pleasures." -- Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle

 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Michel Ocelot
 

GENRES

  • Animation
  • Public libraries and K-12 DVD sale: $29.95
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KUESSIPAN
KUESSIPAN
KUESSIPAN
KUESSIPAN
KUESSIPAN
KUESSIPAN
KUESSIPAN
KUESSIPAN

KUESSIPAN

Regular price $395.00
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KUESSIPAN

The award-winning drama Kuessipan by Myriam Verreault was adapted from the acclaimed novel Kuessipan and co-written with the novel’s First Nation Canadian author Naomi Fontaine. Kuessipan means "your turn" in the Innu language, a title chosen to mark the notion that it is the Innu people's turn to tell their story.

“The Innu voice is ever present, which is so important as it offers a glimpse into their lives without a Colonial perspective. It's a feature that, while seemingly an obvious advantage, is hardly ever utilized for similar films. It means that audiences can enter the world in a respectful manner - which isn't to say the film shies away from the issues, but it does mean that those issues are approached in a confident and dignified way” writes Joel Kalkopf in his review for Switch.

The story follows two girls who grow up as best friends in a Quebec Innu community. While Mikuan has a loving family, Shaniss is picking up the pieces of her shattered childhood. As children, they promised each other to be lifelong friends. But as they mature, their lives take different paths, and their personal ambitions diverge leading them to a cultural and identity clash that tests their bond.

Directed by Myriam Verreault, Canada, 2019, 117min, Drama, Montagnais, French, English w/English subtitles

"Kuessipan is quiet and mesmerizing and tragic and full of hope. It is a triumph, and a privilege to spend time with." ~ Globe and Mail

"Myriam Verreault excels at crafting a film told through an Indigenous lens that discusses universal themes of friendship, identity, love, and heartbreak." ~ Exclaim!

"Kuessipan is a beautiful, un-sensationalized look at young womanhood, friendship and community." ~ NOW Toronto

"Heartbreakingly exploring Indigenous identity and the bonds that root us to a community, Kuessipan is a bold ode to young womanhood." ~ MUBI

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KUKURANTUMI; THE ROAD TO ACCRA

KUKURANTUMI; THE ROAD TO ACCRA

Regular price $295.00
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KUKURANTUMI: THE ROAD TO ACCRA 

DIRECTED BY KING AMPAW 
GHANA / 1983 / ENGLISH / 95 MIN

SYNOPSIS

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.

 

"One of the most celebrated Ghanaian films to emerge before the country’s video industry, Kukurantumi is intelligent filmmaking, situating the troubles of one family within the wider context of political corruption, poverty and class struggle within Ghanaian society." ~ Film Africa 2020

 

"Kukurantumi treats a formidable theme--the erosion of traditional values in a modernizing country--in an upbeat, engaging tale that takes place, fittingly, on the road connecting a rural village to the Ghanaian capital of Accra." ~  BERKELEY ART MUSEUM & PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: King Ampaw
Starring: Evans Oma
Starring: Amy Appiah
Starring: David Dontoh
 

GENRES

  • Drama and Comedy
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LA PLAYA D.C.

LA PLAYA D.C.

Regular price $295.00
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LA PLAYA D.C. 

DIRECTED BY JUAN ANDRES ARANGO GARCIA
COLOMBIA/BRAZIL/FRANCE / 2012 / SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 90 MIN

 

SYNOPSIS

Tomas,an Afro-Colombian teenager who fled the country's Pacific coast pushed out by the war, faces the difficulties of growing up in a city if exclusion and racism. When Jairo, his younger brother and closest friend disappears, Tomas plunges in the streets of the city. His search becomes an initiatory journey that compels him to face his past and to leave aside the influence of his is brothers in order to find his own identity. Through this journey, Tomas reveals a unique perspective of a vibrant and unstable city that, like Tomas, stands on the threshold between what once was and what might be.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Juan Andres Arango Garcia
Starring: Luis Carlos Guevara
Starring: Jamés Solís
Starring: Andrés Murillo
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
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LA ULTIMA RUMBA DE PAPA MONTERO (THE LAST RUMBA OF PAPA MONTERO)

LA ULTIMA RUMBA DE PAPA MONTERO (THE LAST RUMBA OF PAPA MONTERO)

Regular price $295.00
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LA ULTIMA RUMBA DE PAPA MONTERO (THE LAST RUMBA OF PAPA MONTERO) 

DIRECTED BY OCTAVIO CORTAZAR 
CUBA AND MARTINIQUE / 1992 / SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 52 MIN

SYNOPSIS

A fascinating film on the rhythmic dance genre known as Rumba, La Ultima Rumba de Papa Montero dances around the life of Papa Montero, one of the famous rumberos of Cuba, assassinated during carnival. A discovery of Cuban traditions and every day life told through beautiful images, sensual music and dance. The use of Afro-Cuban mythology is the force behind the characters as orishas guide the characters' fate.

 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Nick Hughes
Starring: Eric Bridges Twahirwa
Starring: Cleophas Kabasita 
Starring: Davis Kagenza 
 

GENRES

  • Docu-drama 
  • DVD Afro-Cuba: Yesterday and Today which also includes Sara Gomez: An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker.
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LOOKING FOR LIFE (CHERCHER LA VIE)

LOOKING FOR LIFE (CHERCHER LA VIE)

Regular price $195.00
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LOOKING FOR LIFE (CHERCHER LA VIE) 

DIRECTED BY CLAUDETTE COULANGES
HAITI AND GERMANY / 1999 / CREOLE WITH FRENCH AND ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 60 MIN

 

SYNOPSIS


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; the latter is employed in the same factory as a production worker making pullovers and T-shirts. Every day she buys her midday meal on credit from Anne-Rose. Through the connection between these two women the film shows part of their daily work and the constant battle for survival that they lead together with other women in Haiti. Going beyond this, however the film demonstrates the extent to which the importation of North American goods has brought about the collapse of Haitian regional production and ruined Haiti's economy. The connection between the two topics of the film reveals the significant role that Haitian women of today play in an economy that has been bled dry.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Claudette Coulanges
 

GENRES

  • Documentary

 

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MADE IN BANGLADESH
MADE IN BANGLADESH
MADE IN BANGLADESH
MADE IN BANGLADESH
MADE IN BANGLADESH
MADE IN BANGLADESH
MADE IN BANGLADESH
MADE IN BANGLADESH

MADE IN BANGLADESH

Regular price $395.00
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MADE IN BANGLADESH

Shimu, 23, works in a clothing factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Faced with difficult conditions at work, she decides to start a union with her co-workers.

Despite threats from the management and disapproval of her husband, Shimu is determined to go on. Together the women must fight and find a way.

Directed by Rubaiyat Hossain, Bangladesh/France/Denmark/Portugal , 2019, 95min, social drama, English & Bengali w/English subtitles

* Toronto Intl Film Festival - Contemporary World Cinema
* London BFI
* Stockholm International Film Festival - Competition Films from the South

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MALUALA

MALUALA

Regular price $245.00
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MALUALA 

DIRECTED BY SERGIO GIRAL
CUBA / 1979 / SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 95 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Maluala takes us into a palenque, a settlement of escaped slaves hidden somewhere in Cuba's eastern mountains, where discord is sown between black "kings" by clever subversives working for the Spanish government.

"Sergio Giral is the best known of the Black Cuban directors and his previous films were historical observations of the period of slavery in Cuba, the gradual rise of rebellion against colonial traditions, and the ultimate freedom that resulted. Maluala is the most striking addition to this genre. The action takes place during the last century in the region of Maluala. Gallo, the black chieftain, together with his cohort, Coba, present a petition for land and liberty to the colonial government. Governor Escudero offers liberty if the rebellious villages will be dismantled and their men offer themselves in surrender. He promises that they will be freed shortly thereafter. Three chieftains agree, but Gallo and Coba refuse... Giral has mounted Maluala with colorful ritual and acting. Samuel Claxton, as Gallo, is highly stylized in the heroic tradition. It is an absorbing adventure film wrought from historical events which appear violent, but Giral constantly implants into every image the necessity for unity among people in order to combat man's seemingly casual desire to subjugate mankind, in the struggle for power and undefined ambition." 
~ /San Francisco Film Festival, 1980/

"The historically lucid intrigues of Maluala (1979), where the Afrocentric leadership of fugitive palenque communities is pitted against each other COINTELPRO-style by Spanish colonists, is one of those Cuban films that were forged in a righteous, red-hot ferment but still found the courage and wit to ask questions about the society around them." ~ Gary Dauphin, The Village Voice

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Sergio Giral
Starring: Samuel Claxton
Starring: Adolfo Llauradó
Starring: Raúl Pomares
 

GENRES

  • Historical Drama 
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MAMA AFRICA: MIRIAM MAKEBA + ACES

MAMA AFRICA: MIRIAM MAKEBA + ACES

Regular price $395.00
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MAMA AFRICA: MIRIAM MAKEBA

DIRECTED BY MIKA KAURISMÄKI
SOUTH AFRICA AND GERMANY / 2011 / ENGLISH / 90 MIN


SYNOPSIS

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
 

GENRES

  • Documentary

 

BONUS FILM

ACES

DIRECTED BY NTANDAZO "DIDI" GCINGCA 
SOUTH AFRICA / 1999 / ENGLISH / 17 MIN


SYNOPSIS

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.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Ntandazo "Didi" Gcingca 
GENRE
  • Short Drama


 

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MARIGHELLA
MARIGHELLA
MARIGHELLA
MARIGHELLA
MARIGHELLA
MARIGHELLA
MARIGHELLA
MARIGHELLA
MARIGHELLA
MARIGHELLA
MARIGHELLA
MARIGHELLA

MARIGHELLA

Regular price $445.00
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MARIGHELLA

Currently censored in Brazil, Marighella is a new Brazilian action drama set in 1969 based on the life of Afro-Brazilian politician and guerrilla fighter Carlos Marighella. Facing a violent military dictatorship and with little support from a timid opposition, writer-turned-politician Carlos Marighella organizes a resistance movement. Alongside revolutionaries 30 years younger than him and willing to fight, the revolutionary leader opts for action. The film is adapted from the biography Marighella - O Guerrilheiro que Incendiou o Mundo, by Mario Magalhaes. Brazilian musical artist, songwriter, and actor Seu Jorge plays Carlos Marighella.

Directed by Wagner Moura, 2019, Brazil, 155min, historical action drama, Portuguese w/ English subtitles

* Berlinale 2019 | Official Selection - Out of Competition
* INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT CRITICS PRIZE (Premio Giuseppe Becce)
* ONE OF SCREEN CRITICS' TOP FILMS FROM BERLIN 2019

"Angry and brutally necessary for the Brazil of today, Marighella is put together coolly and confidently by the green [Wagner] Moura." ~ One Room With A View

"Marighella works fine as an exciting and highly assured debut, with a terrific ensemble cast at its heart." ~ Hollywood Reporter

Visit film site 

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MARY LOU WILLIAMS: THE LADY WHO SWINGS THE BAND

MARY LOU WILLIAMS: THE LADY WHO SWINGS THE BAND

Regular price $295.00
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MARY LOU WILLIAMS: THE LADY WHO SWINGS THE BAND

DIRECTED BY CAROL BASH
U.S.A. / 2015 / ENGLISH / 60 MIN

SYNOPSIS

She was ahead of her time, a genius. During an era when Jazz was the nation's popular music, Mary Lou Williams was one of its greatest innovators. As both a pianist and composer, she was a font of daring and creativity who helped shape the sound of 20th century America. And like the dynamic, turbulent nation in which she lived, Williams seemed to redefine herself with every passing decade.

From child prodigy to "Boogie-Woogie Queen" to groundbreaking composer to mentoring some of the greatest musicians of all time, Mary Lou Williams never ceased to astound those who heard her play. But away from the piano, Williams was a woman in a "man's world," a black person in a "whites only" society, an ambitious artist who dared to be different, and who struggled against the imperatives of being a "star." Above all, she did not fit the (still) prevailing notions of where genius comes from or what it looks like. Time and again, she pushed back against a world that said, "You can't" and said, "I can." It nearly cost her everything.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Carol Bash
Starring: Alfre Woodard
Starring: Geri Allen
Starring: Carmen Lundy
 

GENRES

  • Documentary
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MASAI: THE RAIN WARRIORS
MASAI: THE RAIN WARRIORS
MASAI: THE RAIN WARRIORS
MASAI: THE RAIN WARRIORS
MASAI: THE RAIN WARRIORS
MASAI: THE RAIN WARRIORS
MASAI: THE RAIN WARRIORS
MASAI: THE RAIN WARRIORS

MASAI: THE RAIN WARRIORS

Regular price $195.00
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MASAI: THE RAIN WARRIORS 

DIRECTED BY PASCAL PLISSON
KENYA AND FRANCE / 2005 / MAA WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 94 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Faced with a drought that endangers the continuity of their people, Masai elders are convinced that they have been cursed by the Red God -- the God of Vengeance. Following the death of the war chief, a group of adolescents must now cross over to adulthood, forced to quickly form a new generation of inexperienced but brave warriors. The young men must bring back the mane of a legendary lion, which appears at every critical period of Masai history to appease the wrath of the Red God and bring back the rains. The survival of their culture depends on this quest.

"A story of initiation, friendship, teamwork and sacrifice set on the vast ochre savannah of Kenya, Masai: The Rain Warriors builds slowly to a powerful and touching finale." -Lisa Nesselson, Variety 

"With a documentary-like authenticity and major movie production values, this gorgeous drama takes us deep into the life of the Masai in East Africa. The story may be fiction, but the actors and the culture are completely real.” -Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Pascal Plisson
Starring: Ngotiek Ole Mako
Starring: Paul Nteri Ole Sekenan
Starring: Parkasio Ole Muntet
 

GENRES

  • Epic Drama 
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MESTIZO

MESTIZO

Regular price $195.00
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MESTIZO 

DIRECTED BY MARIO HANDLER 
VENEZUELA / 1989 / SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES  / 82 MIN

SYNOPSIS

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.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Mario Handler
Starring: Marcos Moreno
Starring: Zezé Motta
Starring: Aldo Tulian
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
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MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA

MYOPIA

Regular price $395.00
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MYOPIA

Fatem, sixth month pregnant, leaves her village perched in the mountains, to fill a frame with empty glasses for the elder of her village, the only person who can decipher the letters sent by members of the villagers’ families who have gone to work in the cities. She moves from station to station to arrive in town in the middle of a protest. This will turn her trip into a peaceful revolution that she is hardly aware of.

Directed by Sanaa Akroud, Morocco 2020, 86min, drama, Arabic w/English subtitles

"A beautifully observed meditation on faith, perseverance and integrity, Moroccan director Sanae Akroud’s sophomore feature is an immersive and heart-breaking unique female saga. " ~ The Brazilian

"This film, which carries beautiful qualities of image and lighting, speaks of poverty, of the feminine condition and of a happiness so simple that one can hardly grasp its meaning nowadays. ~ La Presse

"Fatem is played by Sanaa Akroud, also the film's director. Akroud was in the acclaimed 2011 Egyptian film "Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story". In "Myopia" she is brilliant as our unsettlingly passive villager, whether inquiring about a letter from an absent husband or when wandering innocently through the city in search of an eyeglass shop." ~ Barbara Nimri Aziz

"She will be questioned by the police, defended by an association, interviewed by a journalist… She is accused of having endangered her baby, she is asked some of the most intrusive questions, but each person applies their own way of thinking - myopia of a society incapable of perceiving its difference. Agressive police officers falsely accused, activists urging her to press charges, sensationalist journalist who transforms news, even a listening minister… none understand that she only wants to fix the glasses." ~ Olivier Barlet

"It is in listening to these women that Sanaa Akroud wrote this script which she both interprets and directs. Apart from the interviews, she does it with few words. Wolfango Alfi's sequence shots respond to this desire to account for the time taken by everyday acts. They contribute to the open-mindedness called for by this film without a clear message, if not to invite people to understand that an equivocation is not a limit but a complexity." ~ Olivier Barlet

"This story is sure to resonate with many American viewers learning about the depth of racial disparities and the flaws in U.S. democracy where agents of ‘liberal’ society and opposition parties once again reach out to Black and Brown Americans and immigrants with shallow promises of equality and reform.Barbara Nimri Aziz

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NAMES LIVE NOWHERE

NAMES LIVE NOWHERE

Regular price $195.00
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NAMES
LIVE NOWHERE

Director: Dominique Loreau
From: Belgium
Year: 1994  Minutes: 76
Language: French with English subtitles
Genre: docu-drama

In this film 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.

16mm rental: $250
DVD sale: $195

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NAOMI'S JOURNEY (Naomis Reise)
NAOMI'S JOURNEY (Naomis Reise)
NAOMI'S JOURNEY (Naomis Reise)
NAOMI'S JOURNEY (Naomis Reise)
NAOMI'S JOURNEY (Naomis Reise)
NAOMI'S JOURNEY (Naomis Reise)
NAOMI'S JOURNEY (Naomis Reise)
NAOMI'S JOURNEY (Naomis Reise)

NAOMI'S JOURNEY (Naomis Reise)

Regular price $345.00
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Naomi's Journey Trailer - ArtMattan Films from ArtMattan Productions on Vimeo.

NAOMI'S JOURNEY

Twenty-year old Naomi lives a simple life with her younger siblings in Peru. Only her big sister seems to live a life of fortune, being married in Germany. But now she is dead, murdered by her German husband.

Stunned by the news, Naomi can't imagine accompanying her mother to Germany, the land of the crime. But then she changes her mind, becomes a joint plaintiff, and takes part in the trial in Berlin.

In Naomi's Journey Frieder Schleich (Otomo) continues to explore the life of immigrants in Germany.  His staging of a realistic trial using real-life lawyers illustrates the inner working of the German justice system and its dispassionate proceedings. 

"The film follows the murder trial of a young South American woman within the framework of a hidden women and marriage trafficking market. The film is about justice and objectivity in the German legal system." ~ Hof international film festival

Directed by Frieder Schlaich, 2018, Germany / Peru, 93min, legal thriller, German and Spanish with English subtitles.

 

"The director composes a haunting puzzle about moral standards, trust and cultural clashes." ~ Brazilian Press

"Rising star Scarlett Jaimes gives a compelling performance in the title role presenting the turbulence of a fragile young lady with brilliant nuance." ~ Brazilian Press

"It's a gripping, accurate courtroom drama." ~ Brazilian Press

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NATAL DA PORTELA

NATAL DA PORTELA

Regular price $195.00
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NATAL DA PORTELA

DIRECTED BY PAULO CEZAR SARACENI
BRAZIL / 1988 / PORTUGUESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 100 MIN

SYNOPSIS

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. The principal role played by Milton Goncalves, one of the major Black actors in Brazil, gives the story an authentic flavor rarely seen in films portraying the contemporary life of Black people in Brazil. This is a film filled with joy, music and laughter. “Natal da Portela” is also a film that narrates the story of contemporary Brazil and the legacy of African people in that country. Several other major actors enrich the story, Zeze Mota well known for her role in “Quilombo” and the dean of Black Brazilian actors, the great Grande Otello much remembered for his major role in Rio Zona Norte and Macunaima just to mention a few titles.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Paulo Cezar Saraceni
Starring: Zezé Motta
Starring: Milton Gonçalves
Starring: Almir Guineto
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
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NELIO'S STORY
NELIO'S STORY
NELIO'S STORY
NELIO'S STORY
NELIO'S STORY
NELIO'S STORY

NELIO'S STORY

Regular price $195.00
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NELIO'S STORY 

DIRECTED BY SOLVEIG NORDLUND 
MOZAMBIQUE AND SWEDEN / 1997 / PORTUGUESE AND MOZAMBICAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 92 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Shot in Mozambique, but set in an unnamed city, the film depicts the life of an orphan boy, Nelio, whose parents were killed by guerrillas. He escapes to the city and finds magic there and is soon rumoured to possess healing powers, in this violent, yet mythic coming-of-age story. Based on a novel by the popular Swedish writer Henning Mankell.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Solveig Nordlund
Starring: Sergio Titos
Starring: Vittorio Gassman
Starring: Giuliano Gemma
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
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NIGHT OF DESTINY

NIGHT OF DESTINY

Regular price $195.00
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NIGHT OF DESTINY 

DIRECTED BY ABDELKRIM BAHLOUL
ALGERIA AND FRANCE / 1997 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 96 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Sixty five years old Abdelkader Silimani, an Algerian Muslin living in France, after inadvertently witnessing a murder, closely escapes from the murderers by hiding out into a mosque. The black leather dressed masked murderers, with their firearms in hand, do not hesitate to enter the mosque full of praying men looking for the eyewitness. They leave empty handed but determined not to give up their search.

Detective Leclerc is assigned to the case. As he searches for the eyewitness who stays mute with fear, the detective slowly discovers the Northern Paris Muslim community and its traditions. For the first time, the French detective is exposed to the contradictions and challenges minority communities face as they struggle to live in a new culture with a different set of values and religious beliefs.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Abdelkrim Bahloul
Starring: Philippe Volter
Starring: Boris Terral
Starring: Gamil Ratib
 

GENRES

  • Thriller
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NO TIME TO DIE

NO TIME TO DIE

Regular price $245.00
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NO TIME TO DIE 

DIRECTED BY KING AMPAW
GHANA AND WEST GERMANY / 2006 / ENGLISH / 95 MIN

SYNOPSIS

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.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Nick Hughes
Starring: Fritz Baffour
Starring: Kofi Bucknor
Starring: Agnes Dapaa
 

GENRES

  • Drama and Romantic Comedy 
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NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

Regular price $295.00
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NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH 

DIRECTED BY JOHN KANI
SOUTH AFRICA / 2008 / ENGLISH / 78 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Nothing But The Truth is a gripping investigation into the complex dynamic between those blacks who remained in South Africa and risked their lives to lead the struggle against apartheid and those who returned victoriously after living in exile. In New Brighton, South Africa, 63-year-old librarian Sipho Makhaya prepares for the return of the ashes of his brother Themba, recently deceased while in exile in London after gaining a reputation as a hero of the anti-apartheid movement. Internationally recognized, multiple award-winning actor John Kani is the lead actor in this film version of the internationally acclaimed award-winning play Nothing But The Truth which he also authored.

“A deeply felt portrait that delicately weaves the extraordinary and the ordinary in its characters' lives.” - New York Times

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: John Kani
Starring: Motshabi Tyelele
Starring: Rosie Motene
Starring: David Newton
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
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OTOMO + WAALO FENDO

OTOMO + WAALO FENDO

Regular price $245.00
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OTOMO 

DIRECTED BY FRIEDER SCHLAICH
GERMANY / 1999 / GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 84 MIN

SYNOPSIS

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
 GENRE
  • Drama 
  • DVD also includes Bonus film 
Waalo Fendo: Where the Earth Freezes

WAALO FENDO: WHERE THE EARTH FREEZES

DIRECTED BY MOHAMMED SOUDANI
SENGAL AND SWITZERLAND / 1998 / WOLOF WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 65 MIN

SYNOPSIS

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.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Mohammed Soudani
Starring: Saidou Moussa Ba
Starring: Oumar Ba
Starring: Baara N'Gom
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
  • Also includes film Otomo
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PAPA'S SONG

PAPA'S SONG

Regular price $195.00
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PAPA'S SONG

DIRECTED BY SANDER FRANCKEN
CURAÇAO AND THE NETHERLANDS / 1999 / PAPAMIENTO AND DUTCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 95 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Papa's song is a drama of domestic tension and cross-cultural misunderstanding. Nico Verema (Rene van Asten), a decorous, somewhat gloomy Dutch magistrate, lives happily with his wife, Shirley (Roman Vrede), who is from Curacao. Shirley's two young nephews, in the Netherlands to escape a bad situation at home, complete the household.

Its atmosphere of calm bourgeois propriety is soon upended by the arrival of the boys' mother, Magda (Lisette Merenciana). Shirley and Magda relationship is very stormy: they careen from screaming recrimination to tearful tenderness. Nico tries to mediate and soothe, but when Shirley, who cannot bear children, demands that he impregnate her sister, the good judge finds himself entangled in an intergenerational, trans-Atlantic web of family dysfunction.

"Papa's Song" touches on a number of fascinating and difficult themes, including the state of race relations in the contemporary Netherlands. A. O. Scott, NY Times. 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Sander Francken
Starring: Romana Vrede
Starring: René Asten
Starring: Lisette Merenciana
 

GENRES

  • Romantic thriller
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PARIS NOIR: AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS

PARIS NOIR: AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS

Regular price $295.00
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Paris Noir - African Americans In The City Of Light series intro trailer from ArtMattan Productions on Vimeo.

PARIS NOIR: AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS

DIRECTED BY JOANNE BURKE
U.S.A. AND FRANCE / 2017 / ENGLISH / 60 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Paris Noir - African Americans in the City of Light is an exciting, enlightening documentary on the presence of African Americans in Paris from WWI to the early 1960s.

The film touches on:

- Josephine Baker, Bricktop and Sidney Bechet
- Writers Langston Hughes and Claude McKay
- The connections forged with top African and Caribbean writers and intellectuals Leopold Senghor, Aimé Cesaire, and the Nardal Sisters
- The achievements and challenges of artists in Montparnasse
- The exploitation and growing self-determination of people of color from and in France's vast overseas empire

Looking back today at their astounding achievements and the beneficial cultural exchange between France and Black America stirs up lively conversation. These jazz musicians, writers, artists, intellectuals - they launched the appreciation of Black culture worldwide.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Joanne Burke
 

GENRES

  • Documentary
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