In The Name of Christ / Au Nom Du Christ

Director: Roger Gnoan M’Bala
Country: Ivory Coast
Year: 1993
Running Time: 90 min
Language: French

In The Name of Christ is a wry fable of religion in Africa that follows the exploits of a self-proclaimed “cousin of Christ.” In this derisive satirical drama, an untutored West African pig-keeper who has been tossed out of his house, falls into a river and has a vision, which sends him back to his people to save them for Jesus. His theology is highly imaginative, his miracles are based on superior showmanship, and his mission is a complete success. He is so lionized by the worshippers he has converted that not only does he openly sleep with married women, but they put on nun’s robes and feed him publicly from their hands.

In Memory of Ousmane Sembéne

Director: Mamadou Niang
Country: USA
Year: 2008
Running Time: 4 min
Language: English and French

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This film reflects on Sembéne’s work and his influence on several generations of friends, colleagues and peers.

Imûhar

Director: Jacques Dubuisson
Country: Niger
Year: 1997
Running Time: 82 min
Language: French

After the death of his mother, eleven year-old Khenan – brought up in Paris – goes to to live with his grandfather in the African desert. With the help of his cousin Chadema, he gradually learns to adapt to his new environment, living as a nomad with the Imuhar people.

The Importance of Being Elegant

Director: George Amponsah and Cosima Spender
Country: Belgium, France, and the UK
Year: 2004
Running Time: 69 min
Language: French and Lingala

The Congolese Sapeurs, members of the Société des Ambianceurs et Personnes Élégantes (La SAPE), have elevated fashion to the status of a religion. Papa Wemba, a well-known Congolese singer, is one of La SAPE’s most prominent figures. This film is a splendid evocation of Papa Wemba’s music, and it presents an unusual insight into what it means to be an immigrant in contemporary Europe.

Pieces d’Identités (Pieces of Identity)

Director: Mweze Ngangura
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo and Belgium
Year: 1998
Running Time: 94 min
Language: French

Mani Kongo, King of the Bakongo, embarks on a trip to Belgium to find his beloved daughter, Mwana, who he has lost touch with. Outfitted in full regalia and as much dignity, the African king walks into a society that neither respects his title nor values his humanity.

On arriving to Belgium, he will have to cope with the very best and the very worst of the black diaspora, as well as with prejudices rampant in European society. He himself will find good friends amongst poor low-class whites showing that nothing is ever black or white…

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I am the Future

Director: Godwin Mawuru
Country: Zimbabwe
Year: 1994
Running Time: 110 min
Language: English

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A brother and sister visit their rural African village after completion of school semester only to find the village and home devastated by senseless action of rebels. Their mother killed and little sister wanders aimlessly alone. Through their travels as refugee children, this film provides a glimpse and child perspective of the problems afflicting many in Africa. Issues relating to conflict and war, displacement, slave labour, homelessness, unemployment, crime, poverty and prostitution are addressed.

Husk

Director: Jeremy Handler
Country: South Africa
Year: 1998
Running Time: 11 min
Language: English

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Set in a remote and desolate South African location, Husk tells the story of Lucy, a virtual prisoner to her drunken and useless father, Freddie. Mounting debt threatens to leave them homeless until desperation drives them to plot the demise of the debt collector, Hugo. Unexpected violence erupts and the situation gets out of hand – resulting in Lucy exacting a chilling revenge!

Hotel Of Dreams

Director: Helle Toft Jensen
Country: Senegal and Denmark
Year: 2005
Running Time: 55 min
Language: French and Wolof

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After 25 years in Europe, Jeannot divorces his European wife and returns to his native Senegal to realize his childhood dream of building a hotel in the heart of the coastal village of Popenguine. But Jeannot has become more Europeanized than he himself realizes. He talks about his countrymen as strangers and his very appearance sets him apart from the people he wants to be accepted by, making his project all the more difficult. Hotel of Dreams is a thought-provoking documentary that tackles with humor, insight, and the complex issues of globalization, culture, and identity.

La Momie

Director: Shadi Abdel Salam
Country: Egypt
Year: 1970
Running Time: 100 min
Language: French

La Momie is based on real events in a French archaeological expedition in the Valley of the Kings in 1881. Because some impossible to confuse objects were sold illegally, Egyptian archaeologists embark in search of tombs of the Pharaohs the twenty-first dynasty. This is based near Thebes tribe living such traffic after discovering the hidden tombs in the mountains. But one of its members, Wannis, tormented by his conscience, think archaeologists reveal the location of the sarcophagi.

Homeland

Director: Jacqueline Kalimunda
Country: Rwanda
Year: 2005
Running Time: 90 min
Language: English, Kinyarwanda, and French

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The filmmaker returns home to show a glimpse of the horror that hit Rwanda in 1994 and tells a story of a generational journey to Rwanda, back to the origins of cruelty and fate. One million people killed in one hundred days. One million people killed in a population of eight million. In a beautiful land of violence, extreme beliefs and wicked politics, Kalimunda tries to reconcile the statistics with her sense of homecoming.

Sophia’s Homecoming

Director: Richard Pakleppa
Country: Namibia
Year: 1997
Running Time: 26 min
Language: Nama

In this intimate story, Sophia returns to her home in a Namibian village after years of working for a white family. The years away from her home and children have alienated her from the rest of the family. Upon her return to the tiny house, she soon discovers that her place in the family has been taken over by her younger sister who she left in charge.

Hold Up the Sun / Ulibambe Lingashoni

Director: Lesley Lawson, Brian Tilley, Laurence Dworkin, Clarence Hamilton and Mokonenyana Molete
Country: South Africa
Year: 1992
Running Time: 104 min
Language: English

Described as an African Eyes on the Prize, Hold Up the Sun is a powerful and comprehensive film history of the African National Congress (ANC) and its decades-long struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. A lively and thoroughly moving account of some eighty years, this superb documentary is full of never-before seen archival footage, photographs, and music, all interwoven with present-day interviews with the movers and shakers in the fight for democracy in South Africa: Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Bishop Desmond Tutu, the late Oliver Tambo, et al. This film provides a rare opportunity to witness the moving, multi-hued fabric of history.

Hijack Stories

Director: Oliver Schmitz
Country: South Africa, Germany, and UK
Year: 2000
Running Time: 94 min
Language: English

Hijack Stories is about Sox Morak, a young actor who is cast in the role of a gangster in a popular television series. He ventures into Soweto to research the role with Siphiwe, a childhood friend who is now a real hijacker. As he spends more and more time with the gangsters, he starts losing his sense of reality. In turn Siphiwe becomes more and more fascinated with the television world, setting the stage for a confusion of identity – leaving one wondering who is the actor and who is the gangster.

Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness

Director: Llewellyn Smith
Country: USA
Year: 2006
Running Time: 57 min
Language: English

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Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness asks how a white American of Jewish ancestry, barely a generation removed from Central Europe, acquired the power to re-make the historical understanding of black people. The 20th century anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits re-defined black history and black people, making it possible for a people formerly despised as “Negroes” to pride themselves as African-Americans.  Bringing rarely seen archival footage together with witty animation, photo re-enactments and with interviews from leading scholars of race and culture, Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness delves into the historical and ongoing struggle over who has the power to understand and ascribe meaning to their own cultural identity, and who does not.

Heritage Africa

Director: Kwaw Ansah
Country: Ghana
Year: 1989
Running Time: 110 min
Language: English

Kwesi Atta Bosomefi, who prefers to be called Quincy Arthur Bosomfield, is a perfect product of colonial education. He has embraced English culture and become a district commissioner. In the process, he abandons his African heritage and all that has real meaning to him, to the point that we see him humiliate his own mother and give away a treasured family heirloom. Only a series of humiliating encounters and frightening dreams can help him to recover his true identity.

Hello, Nigeria!

Director: Zina Saro-Wiwa
Country: UK
Year: 2004
Running Time: 40 min
Language: English

Can we better understand Nigerian society by examining the contents of Ovation!, Nigeria’s very own glossy society magazine? There’s much to be learned from looking at a people’s aspirations and celebrity culture.

Hello Guinea

Director: Archival footage
Country: Former USSR
Year: 1961
Running Time: 20 min
Language: Russian

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Leonard Brezhnev visits Guinea and is welcomed by Sekou Touré and the people of Guinea. This film is a brief sojourn into the heart of newly independent Guinea only three years after decolonization.

Head In The Clouds / La Tete Dans Les Nuages

Director: Jean Marie Teno
Country: Cameroon
Year: 1995
Running Time: 37 min
Language: French

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Kleptocracy has become an accepted fact of Cameroonian life described by the proverb: “The goat grazes where it is tied.” The government controlled formal sector, like its colonial predecessor, is essentially parasitical. An informal sector has emerged parallel to it which increasingly supplies the daily subsistence needs of the people.

Cameroon’s bifurcated economy is also reflected in its schizophrenic education system. Cameroonians flock to the universities to acquire a neo-colonial education which ill-prepares them for the actual needs of the local economy.

Have You Seen Drum Recently?

Director: Jurgen Schadeberg
Country: South Africa
Year: 1988
Running Time: 77 min
Language: English

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The film Have You Seen ‘Drum’ Recently? does not suffer from the above-mentioned flaw. With the help of photographs, music, and sometimes an interview, Jürgen Schadeberg manages to conjure up a vivid image of South Africa during the fifties. In those days, Schadeberg was a press photographer of Drum, a trendy and progressive magazine concentrating on black readers. He used the photographs from the files of Drum to make a documentary, completed with fragments from the feature films Come Back Africa and The Magic Garden.Significant and linking elements in this film are the sparkling and swinging music, like big band, jazz, kwela, and penny whistle, and the interviews with, among others, artists that sang the music at the time. – See more at: http://www.idfa.nl/industry/tags/project.aspx?id=981ba97f-fb2f-4796-b7a6-28470657a47d#sthash.ZOIKND88.dpuf
With the help of photographs, music, and sometimes an interview, Jürgen Schadeberg manages to conjure up a vivid image of South Africa during the fifties. In those days, Schadeberg was a press photographer of Drum, a trendy and progressive magazine concentrating on black readers. He used the photographs from the files of Drum to make a documentary, completed with fragments from the feature films Come Back Africa and The Magic Garden.Significant and linking elements in this film are the sparkling and swinging music, like big band, jazz, kwela, and penny whistle, and the interviews with, among others, artists that sang the music at the time. – See more at: http://www.idfa.nl/industry/tags/project.aspx?id=981ba97f-fb2f-4796-b7a6-28470657a47d#sthash.ZOIKND88.dpuf
With the help of photographs, music, and sometimes an interview, Jürgen Schadeberg manages to conjure up a vivid image of South Africa during the fifties. In those days, Schadeberg was a press photographer of Drum, a trendy and progressive magazine concentrating on black readers. He used the photographs from the files of Drum to make a documentary, completed with fragments from the feature films Come Back Africa and The Magic Garden.Significant and linking elements in this film are the sparkling and swinging music, like big band, jazz, kwela, and penny whistle, and the interviews with, among others, artists that sang the music at the time. – See more at: http://www.idfa.nl/industry/tags/project.aspx?id=981ba97f-fb2f-4796-b7a6-28470657a47d#sthash.ZOIKND88.dpuf

Have You Seen Drum Recently?, with the help of photographs, music, and sometimes an interview, manages to conjure up a vivid and unique social documentary that captures the vibrancy, beauty and brilliance of the urban lack lifestyle of the 1950’s. Significant and linking elements in this film are the sparkling and swinging music, like big band, jazz, kwela, and penny whistle, and the interviews, with artists that sang the music of the time.

The whole film is pervaded with the atmosphere of happy days for the black community, not in the least because of the high expectations they still had in those days.

Has God Forsaken Africa?

Director: Musa Dieng Kala
Country: Senegal and Canada
Year: 2007
Running Time: 52 min
Language: French and Wolof

In this feature documentary, Senegal-born director Musa Dieng Kala returns to Dakar, where he grew up, and asks this painful question: has God forsaken Africa? The answer is bitter. As he films 5 young adults seeking to immigrate to the West at any cost, the filmmaker discovers the helplessness of individuals faced with international indifference and the apathy of the leaders of a society emptied of its resources and incapable of meeting its needs.