COLOMBIA AND FRANCE/ 2003 / SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 52 MIN
An entertaining documentary that explores the African culture of Colombia through music. The film presents the music of the Sons of Benkos, one of the most important Black leaders in the fight for freedom during the times of slavery in Colombia. The film also shows the evolution of Afro-Colombian music over time through the fusion of Cuban and contemporary African rhythms with traditional Afro-Colombian music.
TUNISIA / 1999 / ENGLISH AND ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 52 MIN
In Tunisia, the history of stambali goes back to the arrival of the first Africans taken as slaves from Mali, Timbuktu specifically. Practicing their music and worship in the house of their masters, the enslaved and their musical traditions survive to this day.
Stambali is a religious ritual in Tunisia, a journey with the rhythm of the "gombri" and "chkackek," traces an individual and collective hypnosis, an annual tribute that the disciples of Sidi Saad pay to their master during an initiatory journey and rite of purification that lasts three days.
In "Stambali," the camera, video and film follow the rhythm of the possession, dances, and goes into a trance, in the cemetery, in an open space of grass, trees, dust and sand, in the eroticism that is released by this physical and spiritual representation.
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 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Soon after her return, she and her husband realize 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.
Writer, director, producer, and lead actress in STAND DOWN SOLDIER, Jeryl is an actress best known for her portrayal of Jacqui in The Walking Dead.
She started writing the award-winning script for "Stand Down Soldier" after conversations with female family members and friends from her home state of SC who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“It was both revelatory and refreshing to see that a film about a soldier’s return home from active duty in Iraq is focused on a woman.” ~ Highbrow Magazine Read Full Review HERE
“Stand Down Soldier is a poignant film about an African-American female soldier back to civilian life after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. This film took me by surprise, and I really enjoyed it.” ~ Film Monthly.
STORIES OF POST-COLONIALISMis a double DVD that is a source of information, reflection, retrospective and critical thinking regarding the presence of foreign powers on the continent and what that entails for the general population as very well illustrated inTHE BIG BANANA. In the nation building process, governments have to face a multiplicity of tasks to build the countries' economic, educational, health, and justice systems, to name a few.CELL 512illustrates the challenges of building a democratic society in a new nation.
THE BIG BANANA
Banned in Cameroon,The Big Banana illustrates the poor working conditions in banana plantations and exposes the adverse impact on the people of a corporatocracy government that affords super profits for corporations at the expense of the local population.
The Big Bananaoutlines land grabbing tactics by company Plantation du Haut Penja (PHP) and the ensuing devastation for communities: poverty, pollution, and sickness from pesticides. Bieleu, who spent two years filming residents in the remote countryside of Cameroon also features local cooperatives resisting the devastation through business alliances with fair trade organizations.
By Franck Bieleu, Cameroon, 2011, 85min, Documentary in French with English subtitles.
A spoiled young man makes a bet with his friends: riding a motorbike at a brisk pace without brakes or lights for a week, without being worried. He will be hit by Honorine, a woman driving her car. She will end up in jail. Should corruption, rape and denial of justice be the lot of those without financial means to defend themselves?
By Missa Hebie, 2015, Burkina Faso, Drama, 99 min, French w/ English subtitles.
A documentary about the working conditions of Haitian workers in one of the largest sugar cane plantations in the world, located in the Dominican Republic and belonging to the Fanjul Family, one of the most powerful families in America.
When Maria’s husband died, she was told to either leave the sugarcane plantation or to work in the only existent job: cutting and planting cane.
She decided to work in exchange for a miserable wage and a rudimentary barrack she and her five children call home. With that, she was accepting a precarious life without electricity, drinkable water and sanitary services. This is how people are stuck in a house provided by the Company, ensuring that no other basic service neither civil rights are provided, maintaining people in a life of misery. The vast extension of a sugarcane plantation in Dominican Republic offers this deal to thousands of Haitian workers. Some struggle to leave – like Maria’s daughter, with few chances of working in a hotel by the coast. Some others are forced to leave – like Leidy and her baby, when her father-in-law retires after 50 years of work. Yet, some others – like Yudelka and Telemin – organize and try to change the miserable situation everyone is living in the cane fields. They are an obstacle that hinders the functioning of the great machine that is the Plantation.
Directed by Juan A. Zapata, Dominican Republic/Spain, 2021, 76min, Documentary, Spanish w/English subtitles
" Sugar Cane Maliceis the third film from director [Juan A.]Zapata, a native of the Dominican Republic, who is also an architect and visual artist. Both sensibilities are on display inSugar Cane Malice, which pays particular attention to the built environment of the workers, and contrasts it through a series of helicopter (or drone) shots with modern construction in the island’s cities and the luxurious beach resorts that are beloved of tourists. He also finds beauty even in the sugar cane fields where these workers labor for the benefits of others. Above all, he respects the dignity of his subjects, who haven’t let their difficult lives become their only story." ~ Sarah Boslaugh
FULL FRAME Documentary Film Festival 2021 Official Competition
Festival des Libertés 2021 Official Competition
EATSA Art & Tourism is an International Film Festival 2021 Official Competition
SOMCINEMA Festival (Spain) 2021 Official Competition
Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam 2021 Official Competition
PERU ND BELGIUM / 2003 / SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 54 MIN
Susana Baca is not only a champion in the performance and preservation of Afro-Peruvian heritage, but also an elegant singer whose shimmering voice sings of love, loss and life. Susana and her husband Ricardo Pereira have founded the Instituto Negrocontinuo “Black Continuum” in Lima, a spirited facility for the exploration, expression, and creation of Black Peruvian culture. While Baca has dedicated herself to researching and performing virtually all forms of Afro-Peruvian folklore, it is the lando that has become her trademark. This slow to mid-tempo, highly evocative mix of Spanish, Indigenous and African rhythms has become what the son is to Cuba, or the samba to Brazil--the lando is the sound of Black Peru.
FRANCE / 2013 / FRENCH AND SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 93 MIN
Tango Negro, The African Roots of Tangoby 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 enslaved Africans 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 Cáceres.
BURKINA FASO / 2003 / DJULA AND FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 90 MIN
A comedy set in contemporary Burkina Faso, Tasuma tells the story of a World War II veteran who has been trying for more than 50 years to obtain his well-deserved military pension. Convinced that he will be paid shortly, Sogo buys a mill on credit for the village. But the money does not arrive. When Sogo is put in prison because he cannot reimburse his loan, the women of the village rally to set him free.
DIRECTOR AND CAST
Director: Daniel Kollo Sanou
Starring: Ali Keita
Starring: Mamadou Zerbo
Starring: Noufou Ouédraogo
DVD entitled GREAT AFRICAN FILMS - VOL 2- also includes feature film Sia, the Dream of the Python
FRANCE and MOROCCO / 2018 / FRENCH, ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 95 MIN
Growing up in the Moroccan village of Tazzeka, Elias learned the secrets of traditional Moroccan cuisine from his grandmother who raised him. Years later, meeting a top Paris chef and a young woman named Salma inspires him to leave home.
CAMEROON / 2011 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 85 MIN
Banned in Cameroon, The Big Banana illustrates the poor working conditions in banana plantations and exposes the adverse impact on the people of a corporatocracy government that affords super profits for corporations at the expense of the local population.
The Big Banana outlines land grabbing tactics by company Plantation du Haut Penja (PHP) and the ensuing devastation for communities: poverty, pollution, and sickness from pesticides.
Bieleu, who spent two years filming residents in the remote countryside of Cameroon also features local cooperatives resisting the devastation through business alliances with fair trade organizations. As a result, The Big Banana not only exposes multinational corporations culpability in the land grab of Africa but also makes us reconsider where we get our fruit from.
CUBA/ 2008/ ENGLISH, FRENCH SUBTITLES/HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY/ 52 MINS
The Black Mozart in Cuba is the latest act in the rehabilitation of the memory of this extraordinary human being. The film skillfully combines biographical information with performances of his works.
Born in Guadeloupe of a Senegalese enslaved woman and a French nobleman, 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. For 200 years after his death his music was rarely heard, due in part to Napoleon’s efforts to erase his existence from history. Today, his music is being rediscovered and played by orchestras and music groups around the world. In this documentary, Cuba dedicates a week of cultural activities to his memory and welcomes Saint Georges as “a great hero of the Caribbean.”
MAURITIUS / 2006 / CREOLE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 78 MIN
The Cathedral is a lyrical narration set in the beautiful and unusual setting of Port-Louis, capital of Mauritius. Lina, a young woman in search of her identity interacts daily with friends and family in a carefree happy manner that will be challenged when one day her dancing catches the eye of a photographer... The Cathedrale is based on a sort story by his wife Ananda Devi.
Directed by Roland Vranik | Hungary | 2016 | Drama | 109 min
In his late fifties Wilson, whose family was killed during an outbreak of civil war in Guinea-Bissau, enters Europe as a political refugee and settles for a sedate life as a security guard in a Budapest shopping center. Wilson's main desire is to acquire Hungarian citizenship. The story follows Wilson as he attempts to find his place in Hungarian society in his daily life, at work, with Mari, a history teacher who helps him study for the citizenship and Shirin, a young Iranian woman whose only hope to avoid deportation is to marry a Hungarian citizen. The Citizen is an Award-winning drama that poignantly dwells on some of the most complex issues of contemporary modern European society.BBC
ALGERIA / 1997 / ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 90 MIN
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. In the quiet atmosphere of the palm groves, the two communities have long nurtured the seeds of discord and hatred. The persecution is the first signal of inevitable evil. 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 metaphor for a burning contemporary reality.
DIRECTOR AND CAST
Director: Mohamed Chouikh
Starring: Hacen Abdou
Starring: Messaouda Adami
Starring: Shyraz Aliane
Part of 2 DVD set Great African Films Vol 3 with Daratt (Dry Season)
In today’s Ecuador, the black population, the descendants of enslaved Africans, continue to experience strong racial and social discrimination. Yet people in the community still strive to value their specific culture and transmit the rebellious memory of their ancestors who fought for freedom.The Esmeraldas Beachsets out to expose the invisibility of Afro-Ecuadorians and rectify the narrative of the country’s history with the film’s central protagonist, Juan García, who has worked on that project for years. He developed a school book that presents black Ecuadorians prominently since the only Afro-descendants shown in local school books are portrayed next to a marimba and football. The documentary also addresses the 1999 assassination of Prime Minister Jaime Hurtado, the first Black to hold this office.
Directed by Patrice Raynal, 2020, France/Ecuador, 58 minutes, documentary, French and Spanish with English subtitles.
BRAZIL / 1997 / PORTUGUESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 38 MIN
On March 13, 1992, Vicente Francisco do Espirito Santo, a Black Brazilian who worked in a government-owned electricity company, was fired from his job. It did not take long for him to realize that his dismissal was directly linked to his skin color. Encouraged by his union and a strong Black empowerment movement, he began a judicial process which he won, and as a result was reinstated in his former position. This informative documentary about an unknown victory illustrates how the courts of Brazil did recognize the company's prejudice and racism in a country where such realities are usually dismissed as atypical.
Forty 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 "Going" 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.
FRANCE / 2004 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 90 MIN
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 (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.
"Now that I am out there looking for work, I cannot forget that I am not French like other French people." — Nesrine Yahia
"Politicians in France are mostly horrified to even think about such policies ( implementing an American-style affirmative action program with quotas) because they go against what are called the values of the republic. I think that unless there is pressure from the ground up, politics in France will never change." — Yamina Benguigui
USA / 2017 / ENGLISH AND SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 47 MIN
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.
Brother Howie is a Jamaican Rastifari who dreams of the land of his ancestors: Africa. On a journey in search of his roots and his identity he travels through three continents and - with great humor and sensitivity - discovers the world...and Africa.
DIRECTOR AND CAST
Director: Fritz Baumann
DVD sale: $295 Part of "Jamaican Music & Soul" 2 DVD set with "Made in Jamaica"
Femi, a British boy of Nigerian descent who, after a happy childhood in rural Lincolnshire with his white fostermother, moves to inner London to live with his Nigerian mum.
Struggling with the unfamiliar culture and values of his new environment, teenage Femi has to figure out which path to adulthood he wants to take, and what it means to be a young black man in London.
Going back home to Nigeria with his mum to find his Nigerian roots will help adolescent Femi find grounding and hope for a better future.
Directed by Shola Amoo, 2019, UK, 98 min, drama, English.
" Thoughtfully alternates universal adolescent insecurities with urgently specific minority politics - filtered through a first-person perspective that itself oscillates between furious clarity and vivid confusion." ~Variety
* WORLD DRAMATIC COMPETITION - SUNDANCE 2019
* WINNER - British Independent Film Awards 2019 - Best Supporting Actress: Ruthxjiah Bellenea - Most Promising Newcomer: Sam Adewunmi
In the midst of the Cold War, ten young promising musicians from Mali are sent to Cuba to study music and strengthen cultural links between the two socialist countries. Combining Malian and Afro-Cuban influences, they develop a revolutionary new sound and become the iconic ensemble ‘Las Maravillas de Mali’. New Year’s Eve 2000. Richard Minier, a French music producer meets a former member of the band in Bamako and decides to bring the band back together.
Directed by Edouard Salier and Richard Minier | 2020 | 81min |France, Cuba, Mali | Documentary | Spanish, French with English subtitles
CONGO AND BELGIUM / 2015 / FRENCH, ENGLISH, SWAHILI AND MASHI WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 113 MIN
Portrait of the impressive life and work of internationally renowned gynecologist Dr. Denis Mukwege from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He received the 2014 prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for his struggle against sexual violence. Mukwege medically assisted over 40,000 sexually abused women in sixteen years of professional practice.
Sexual violence against women has been used as a weapon of war for years in the violence-ridden and poverty-stricken Democratic Republic of Congo. In order to provide medical, psychological and emotional aid to the victims, Dr. Mukwege founded the Panzi hospital in Bukavu in 1999. Besides his work as a physician Dr. Mukwege also defends human rights and seeks to raise global awareness on the issue of sexual violence in his country. He condemns the political reluctance to tackle the problem and is not afraid to hit the nail on the head.
His work is not without danger, as Dr. Mukwege experienced in 2012, when armed men entered his home and started shooting. Mukwege and his family survived the attack, but his guard was killed. The doctor now lives cloistered in his hospital in Bukavu under the protection of the United Nation peacekeepers. The women, whose physical and emotional integrity and dignity have been restored, stand beside him, true activists for peace, and hungry for justice.
The Man Who Mends Women - The Wrath of Hippocrates was awarded on the 8th of February 2016 the Best Documentary Magritte given once a year by the Académie André Delvaux to the Best Feature Length Belgium Francophone Documentary of the year.
It also received on January 29, 2016 the HUMANUM AWARD by the Belgium Film Critic Union (Union de la Presse Cinématographique Belge - UPCB) for its advocacy in favor of harmonious living among different peoples.
Other awards include: * Best Documentary Special Jury Award at the 2016 Pan African Film Festival, in Los Angeles (USA); * Special Mention at the Festival Internacional De Cine Documental De La Ciudad de Mexico 2015 (Mexico); * The Public Award at the Algiers International Film Festival 2015 (Algeria); * The Golden Butterfly - A Matter of Act award at the Movies That Matter Festival 2015 (The Netherlands)
The film has received so far 5 Human Rights Awards, 3 Audience Awards, and 4 Grand Prizes for Best Documentary in festivals worldwide!