Africa: The Beat

Director: Samaki Wanne
Country: Tanzania
Year: 2011
Running Time: 59 min.
Language: Gogo and Spanish


Africa: The Beat was filmed in Nzali, an enclave situated in the heart of Tanzania where the Wagogo live. Theirs is a unique musical universe. From the film’s first frame to the last sound heard, each image takes us further into their daily reality while their music gradually engulfs us in a world of surprising sensations. Day and night, the passage of time and the seasons, nature and the elements, water, the importance of the word and the stories, the stages of life…all of this emerges from a pulsation around which every instant of existence is articulated. Filmed with rudimentary technical means, Africa: The Beat conjoins the perspective of a painter, the vision of a filmmaker and the sensibilities of two musicians. It does away with the concept of the voice-over, which conditions and invades the spectator’s senses. Instead, the film permits the spectator to experience his or her own emotions, and bear witness to the essential place music occupies in life.

About the Director

Samaki Wanne

Biography: The name Samaki Wanne (“Four Fish” in Swahili), on one hand alludes to the Calle Tres Peces (Three Fish Street) in Madrid, where Dika Productions’ headquarters are located, and where the greater part of this documentary was produced. On the other hand, the name stands for the four members of the collective: a painter (Manuel Velasco), a filmmaker (Pablo Vega) and two musicians (Javier Arias Bal and Polo Vallejo). Each one has a solid and recognized artistic and creative trajectory, and together they decided to pool their resources around Polo Vallejo’s research work into the life and music of the Wagogo of Tanzania, with the objective of making this documentary. Africa: The Beat is the first and only film to date created by the collective Samaki Wanne.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Africa: The Beat (2012)

Africa: The Beat (2011)