Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children

Director: Xoliswa Sithole and Jezza Neuman
Countries: South Africa / Zimbabwe
Year: 2010
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: Shona and English

zims forgotten children

The story of three children trying to survive in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe 2002

Director: Farai Sevenzo
Country: Zimbabwe
Year: 2002
Running Time: 30 min.
Language: English and Shona


Sevenzo, a journalist and filmmaker, returns to Zimbabwe after a 15-year absence to see how his family responds to and participates in the 2002 elections. Despite global condemnation of Mugabe, he finds no easy consensus amongst ordinary Zimbabweans.

Zan Boko

Director: Gaston Kaboré
Countries: Burkina Faso
Year: 1988
Running Time: 94 min.
Language: Mooré


Zan boko means “place where the placenta is buried” in Moré, one of the principal languages of the filmmaker’s native Burkina Faso, and symbolizes an individual’s connection to the land and to future generations. Kaboré creates a gripping narrative out of the story of two men from very different worlds. They share a common integrity: a peasant farmer who loses his land to a wealthy businessman and a journalist whose uncompromising TV expose of the farmer’s victimization, is censored by a corrupt government. This film is the first to examine the role of mass media in contemporary Africa, Zan Boko is a tribute to the ancestral heritage of agrarian village societies.

Yellow Fever-Taxi Man / Fievre Jaune-Taximan

Director: Jean-Marie Teno
Countries: Cameroon
Year: 1985
Running Time: 30 min.
Language: French


A delightful comic short, Yellow Fever-Taxi Man chronicles the misadventures of Sam, a swaggering cab driver in the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé, who sees himself as quite the ladies’ man. Composed of a series of episodes as seen through the eyes of Sam, this short work is a deceptively simple exploration of urban life.

Yellow Card

Director: John Riber
Countries: Zimbabwe
Year: 2000
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: English


Tiyane is 17. He is the rising star of the city’s soccer team and doing well in high school. His hormones are running riot and everyone wants a piece of him, especially Linda, a long-time friend. Tiyane wants to play the field, but he hadn’t bargained for falling in love with Juliet or becoming a father.

Yandé Codou, The Griot of Senghor / Yandé Codou, La Griotte de Senghor


Director: Angèle Diabang Brener
Countries: Senegal
Year: 2008
Running Time: 52 min.
Language: Wolof / Sérère / French


Yandé Codou Sène (80 years old) is one of the last great singers of polyphonic Sérère poetry. This film is an intimate look at a diva who has lived through the history of Senegal at the side of one of its greatest near-mythical figures, President-poet Léopold Sédar Senghor.


Director: Idrissa Ouedraogo
Countries: Burkina Faso
Year: 1989
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: Mooré


Yaaba unfolds in the spectacular landscapes of rural Burkina Faso in a mythical time when peasant life was still unspoiled by colonialism. It is the story of a friendship between Bila, Nopoko and an old woman shunned as a witch by the rest of the community. Unafraid of her, twelve-year old Bila calls her “Yaaba” (grandmother) and learns the value of intolerance and his own worth as a human being. Ouedraogo, who shot the film in his own village, said that it was “based on tales of my childhood and on that kind of bedtime storytelling we hear just before falling asleep.” Yaaba’s strikingly beautiful images, haunting rhythm and subtle interactions, bring back the enchantment generated by Souleymane Cisse’s Yeelen and confirm Ouedraogo as a major voice in the new African cinema.

Xica da Silva

Director: Carlos Diegues
Countries: Brazil
Year: 1976
Running Time: 107 min.
Language: Portuguese


The story of legendary slave, Xica da Silva, who parlays a unique sexual talent into a rise to power that elevates her into the unofficial Empress of Brazil.

Wrestling Grounds / L’Appel des Arènes

Director: Cheikh Ndiaye
Countries: Senegal
Year: 2005
Running Time: 105 min.
Language: Wolof and French


When 17-year-old Nalla joins a champion wrestling team, he learns that wrestling is about more than muscles, money and ladies. Wrestling Grounds twists the familiar images of Africa, cutting from nightclubs to ancestral ceremonies to streets where boomboxes play and athletes in traditional dress and sneakers dance their way to victory.

The Wound / La Blessure

Director: Nicolas Klotz
Countries: France
Year: 2005
Running Time: 162 min.
Language: French and English

la blessure

The Wound is the story of Blandine, an African woman who experiences prejudice and brutality at the hands of the state when she attempts to emigrate to France. A poetic, poignant and beautifully composed work, The Wound is a convincing portrait of the injustices black immigrants face as they seek homes in the West.

Woubi Chéri

Director: Philip Brooks and Laurent Bocahut
Countries: Ivory Coast / France
Year: 1998
Running Time: 62 min.
Language: French


Woubi Chéri is a 1998 French/Ivorian documentary that shows a few days in the life of various members of the gay and transgender community in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It is one of a very few films from Africa to deal with LGBT issues.

The Woman Alone / La Femme Seule

Director: Brahim Fritah
Countries: Togo / France
Year: 2004
Running Time: 23 min.
Language: French

la femme seule

The Woman Alone is based on the story of Akosse Legba, a young Togolese woman who has been a victim of modern slavery in France. The film centers on her memories from her childhood in Togo and her arrival in France. Through her memories we discover the path of someone who always considered herself a woman alone.

Within a Shadow Lies What Will Fall

Director: Ingrid Mwangi and Robert Hutter
Countries: USA / Kenya
Year: 2003

within a shaow

Within a Shadow Lies What Will Fall is a two-channel video installation in which Ingrid Mwangi and Robert Hutter engage in a dialogue about cultural identity, place and contextual exchange. While traveling in Kenya, the artists film one another as they cut their hair. Projected side-by side, the artists present the hair cutting process as a symbolic act of transformation.

The Widow’s Inheritance / A Herança da Viúva

Director: Sol de Carvalho
Countries: Mozambique
Year: 1997
Running Time: 54 min.
Language: Portuguese

The true story of a widow begins after her husband dies; her neighborhood says she is the murderer. This film is about how she survives.

Whole – A Trinity of Being

Director: Shelley Barry
Countries: South Africa
Year: 2004
Running Time: 15 min.
Language: English

whole trinity of being

Three experimental shorts which deal with sexuality, visibility, and voice from the perspective of a wheelchair user who turns the camera on herself to celebrate love and survival.

White Handkerchief

Director: Tunde Kelani
Countries: Nigeria
Year: 1998
Running Time: 17 min.
Language: English and Yoruba


Odejimi is marrying his childhood love Awero. On their wedding night, Odejimi has a white handkerchief that has to be stained by the virginal blood of Awero. When no blood is produced, the villages of the two lovers are at the brink of war.

White Ebony / Blanc d’Ébène

Director: Cheik Doukouré
Countries: France / Guinea
Year: 1992
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: French


Colonizer meets the colonized in this symbolic and odd historical tale of French West Africa. The unrecognized and unrewarded service of African soldiers in French wars has been frequently featured in short incidental vignettes in a number of films set in Africa. This film certainly carries that idea along.

Whirlwinds / Tourbillons

Director: Alain Gomis
Countries: France / Senegal
Year: 1999
Running Time: 12 min.
Language: French


Ousmane is a young Senegalese student in France who must decide to stay in Paris or return to Senegal. Caught in a whirlwind of contradictory emotions, he wonders how he can free himself of memories and dreams for the future.

When We Were Kings

Director: Leon Gast
Countries: USA
Year: 1996
Running Time: 88 min.
Language: English


A documentary of the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle,” the heavyweight championship bout in Zaire between champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali.