CANADA & NIGERIA/ 2019/ ROMANTIC COMEDY/ ENGLISH/ 115 MIN
2 Weeks in Lagos is a turbulent and thrilling journey into the lives of Ejikeme and Lola. Their lives collide when Ejikeme an investment banker comes home from the United States with Lola’s brother Charlie to invest in Nigerian businesses. 2 Weeks in Lagos captures the excitement, vibrancy, and complexity of everyday life in Lagos, a dynamic city where anything is possible in 2 Weeks.
“Nigerian filmmaker Kathryn Fasegha’s sophomore feature is one of those great surprises that remind us why we love movies. Through the simple premise of two families coming to terms to decide their future and legacy, focusing on the romantic bridge between the youngsters, the director conceives a heart-warming, enchanted, funny and perceptive look at family values, faith, integrity, pure love and capital interests.” ~ Brazilian Press
“2 Weeks in Lagos paints a dynamic and vigorous canvas of the city and its vibrancy. Efficiently performed by a stellar cast, well written with accurate humor and unexpected twists, it’s an accomplished, sensitive and timely romantic comedy.” ~ Brazilian Press
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
BLACK MEXICAN / LA NEGRADA & THE VALLEY OF THE BLACK DESCENDANTS / EL VALLE DE LOS NEGROS
Two films that explore the life of black people in Latin America. BLACK MEXICAN / LA NEGRADA is the first Mexican feature film about the Afro-Mexican community, THE VALLEY OF THE BLACK DESCENDANTS / EL VALLE DE LOS NEGROS is a documentary about Afro-Chilean struggle to organize the first African census in the history of Chile.
BLACK MEXICANS / LA NEGRADA
DIRECTED BY JORGE PEREZ SOLANO
MEXICO/ 2018/ 104 MIN / DRAMA IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH
Black Mexicans (La Negrada)is the first Mexican feature film about the Afro-Mexican community, filmed entirely with people from different towns around the Costa Chica in Oaxaca.
Neri, a fisherman, splits his time between two women: his wife Juanita with whom he has a daughter and his lover Magdalena, mother of three additional children. Things are about to change for Neri as Juanita falls gravely ill and Magdalena prepares to take her place.
Shot entirely in the beautiful beaches of Corralera in Oaxaca and featuring a cast of non-professional actors from the nearby communities,Black Mexicansexplores the social mores of and the discrimination faced by Mexico’s little known black community.
THE VALLEY OF THE BLACK DESCENDANTS / EL VALLE DE LOS NEGROS
In the Azapa Valley (Chile), an oasis in the driest desert in the world, a group of descendants of enslaved men and women brought from Africa are organizing the first African census in the history of Chile. Their aim is to get official recognition from the State that has concealed their culture and African identity for more than 200 years.
Directed by Ric.hard Salgado, Chile, 2017, 52 min, documentary, Spanish with English subtitle.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, FRANCE, GERMANY, NORWAY, QATAR, SWITZERLAND/ 2018/ LINGALA | FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES/ 75 MIN
In January 2015, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila, sought a constitutional amendment that would allow him to be elected president for a third time.
This film documents the resulting demonstrations and follows three protagonists of the resistance. Ben, who lives in exile in New York, takes the advice of his fellow countrymen in exile and decides to join the struggle in the Congo. Jean Marie, who has just been released from prison, continues his public campaign for his country’s freedom and is persecuted by the secret service. Christian fights unperturbed in the streets of Kinshasa, even after former Prime Minister Etienne Tshisekedi, on whom the opposition had pinned their hopes, dies and the movement against Kabila’s extension of his time in office seems paralysed.
Should one resist in exile, or fight on the ground in the Congo? Should resistance be non-violent or should force be used if required? Filmed throughout with a handheld camera that stays very close to the protagonists, even in precarious conditions, Dieudo Hamadi explores the pros and cons of different forms of resistance.
Currently censored in Brazil,Marighellais 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,Marighellais 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
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.
InNaomi'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
No Shade explores the hardships of the modern dating world through the dysmorphic presence of colorism as well as the fetishization of black women in a way that is tactful and honest. Jade is both effervescent and relatable as a 28 year old single woman of dark complexion who just “can't seem to get it right,” let alone liberate herself from her unrequited love for the repressive and colorist Danny. The world through her eyes is both a quirky and tumultuous obstacle course of courtship catastrophes and heart-gripping silences. Despite Jade's line up of Tinder flops and her challenges in the friend-zone, she is easy to engage with and adorable. Jade's charisma, quirk, beauty, vulnerability and perseverance throughout the film make her a thoughtful heroine with a twist of comedic spunk in the end.
BRAZIL / 1984 / EPIC DRAMA / BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 114 MIN
This historical saga is a stirring fusion of folklore, political impact and dynamic story-telling, realized in vibrant tropical colors and set to the pulsing beat of Gilberto Gil's musical score. After the slave revolt of 1641, groups of enslaved black Brazilians escaped to mountainous jungle strongholds where they formed self-governing communities. This film is the chronicle of the most famous of these communities which flourished for several decades under the reign of the legendary chieftain Ganga Zumba.
DIRECTOR AND CAST
Director: Carlos Diegues
Starring: Antônio Pompêo, Tony Tornado, Zeze Motta, Zózimo Bulbul
Didi Cheeka works as a director and film critic and has been working for years to reappraise the Nigerian film heritage. He initiated the archive project “Reclaiming History, Unveiling Memory” with the aim of restoring, digitizing and curating rediscovered Nigerian films.
SHAIHU UMAR is one of the most important works in Nigerian film history, but was long considered lost. Located in northern Nigeria at the end of the 19th century, the film is based on a novel by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who later became Nigeria’s first prime minister. Only the rediscovery of the camera negative in 2016 made the reconstruction of the film possible. The digitally restored version had its premiere at the Berlinale in February 2018.
Set in northern Nigeria towards the end of the 19th century,Shaihu Umarstarts with a discussion between Islamic students and their renowned teacher, the wise man Shaihu Umar. Asked about his origins, Umar begins to tell his story: he comes from a modest background and is separated from his mother after his father dies and his stepfather is banished. His subsequent trials and tribulations are marked by slavery, and he is put to any number of tests until he finally becomes the adopted son of his Arabic master Abdulkarim. He attends Koran School and is made an imam upon reaching adulthood. Following a particular dream, he resolves to search for his mother.
Adamu Halilu filmedShaihu Umarin Hausa in 1976. Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art restored the film with the support of the German Embassy in Abuja.
Adamu Halilu, based on the novel of the same title by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
Director of Photography
Yusuf Mohammed, Zakari Yusufu
Umaru Ladan, Umaru Dembo
Born in the state of Adamawa, Nigeria in 1936. He studied screenwriting and editing in London. Along with his work as a feature film director, Adamu Halilu also wrote screenplays and took part in the production of almost 70 documentary films. Adamu Halilu died in 2001.
1963Mama Learns a Lesson; 48 min.1971Child Bride; 70 min.1976Shaihu Umar1978Kanta of Kebbi1981Moment of Truth; 90 min.1982Zainab
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018
Federal Ministry of Information (Federal Film Unit Kaduna)
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.
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.”
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.
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