Hyenas

Director: Djibril Diop Mambety
Country: Senegal
Year: 1992
Running Time: 113 min
Language: Wolof with English subtitles

Mambety adapts a timeless parable of human greed into a biting satire of today’s Africa–betraying the hopes of independence for the false promises of Western materialism. Linguère Ramatou is a beautiful, young woman from a sleepy village who falls in love with a young man. When she becomes pregnant with his child, and he denies paternity so he could marry a wealthy wife, the villagers drive Linguère from home. Ideals shattered, she turns to prostitution and miraculously become the richest woman in the world, “as rich as the World Bank.”

Black Girl / La Noire de …

Ousmane Sembene, France/Senegal, 1969, 65 min.

Director: Ousmane Sembène
Country: Senegal
Year: 1965
Running Time: 60 min.
Language: French

Black Girl picture

In the first years of independence in Senegal, Diouana, a beautiful and ambitious young woman, secures a job as a babysitter with a French couple working as “technical advisers” in Dakar. Seduced by the apparent kindness of her employer, Diouana enthusiastically accepts her offer to follow the family to the French Riviera, leaving behind a serious nationalistic young man who loves her. In France, Diouana finds herself a virtual prisoner, denied any time off, and forced to cook and clean as well as baby-sit. Diouana’s silent rebellion is strangely effective and foreshadows the film’s climax and ominous ending.

Namisha

Director: Ashangbor Akwetey-Kanyi
Country: Ghana
Year: 1999
Running Time: 100 min.
Language: Twi

Namisha is the story of Slobo, a man who has lost his job, his wife to a richer man, and his two daughters to death from abortion and childbirth. In despair, Slobo contacts his friend Owusu, whose service to the earth spirit Abadzen has made him wealthy. When Slobo also becomes rich, he uses Namisha, one of the spirits under Abadzen, to revenge the deaths of his daughters and the departure of his wife.

Review of “Little John” Directed by Cheick Fantamady Camara

Shot in video, in the style of a news report, the film begins with the arrival of refugees in a UN camp. But very quickly, the camera becomes more fictional as it focuses on the life of a small clan, a brotherhood. The fact is that if Little John has this news report value, its intentions go beyond a specific situation. No time or place is mentioned by the way: the real story is the violence individuals internalize in times of war. The type of violence that messes up, haunts, obsesses and erases all structure and culture. The type of violence that brings more violence, crime, and the rejection of self. Girls are becoming prostitutes, boys are pointing guns at people.

Nevertheless, all of them still respect their grandmother with whom they engage in a hide and seek game imbued with humor. Her authority is safe even if everything is happening behind her back. The seedy character of Uncle Youl (who, on screen, disappears in clouds of smoke) – honest during the day, deceitful at night – is here to remind us that adults are the ones making war and using children for their own ends.

What is the point of bringing back such obvious questions? Because it is still very current in this day and age to deconstruct conflicts. Because it is important in a world that has lost its marks, to look with humanism at the “déshumanisation” resulting in the violence which has stained for more than ten years the area from where Cheick Fantamady Camara is and other regions in Africa and in the world.

No need to thrust forward great arguments, rather have a few individuals stand out in the midst of the televised images of refugee camps, eager to live their youth but bearing on their shoulders the weight of their displacement, of the world drifting, of the loss of their close relations. And let them live, laugh, speak, dare, search and lose themselves. It’s like a Nicolas Ray short, or like Rebel Without A Cause, with, as a new addition, the lust for quick money, all in all, a very current issue.

If Cheick Fantamady Camara’s second short film makes you really feel that the world is weighing you down, it’s because it bears the great mark of a film director – a mark already perceptible in his first short, Konorofili. He masters everything: the narrative benefits from the choice of cameras, sends a thrill of multiple shots, resonates with the gun shots as much as with the characters’ jokes and most of all, like in Konorofili, takes shape through the subtle way in which Camara catches and directs motion, the expressive movements of his actors or of the camera that he uses exempting his shot from lingering. For here nothing stays still. Everything follows the tragic rhythm of these young people made in the image of the Conakry gangs (cf. Mathias, Le procès des gangs by Gahité Fofana and Kiti, Justice en Guinée by David Achkar) adamant in their teenage recklessness and a miniature version of the world, blowing up because they cannot live and killing themselves softly.

Patricia Van Heerden and Catherine Stewart

patriciavBiography: Patricia Van Heerden grew up on a cattle farm in the Northern Cape of South Africa. She completed her Bachelors’ degrees in social science and teaching at the University of Cape Town, and she completed her Masters in history and documentary film. Now she is currently working to finish a Ph.D. at New York University. She went on to co-direct A Woman’s Place, screened on PBS stations across America, India and South Africa. She has taught history and film at New York University, as well as the University of the Witwatersrand.

cstewartBiography: Catherine Stewart attended Columbia University’s MFA Film Program and worked for Tristar/Columbia’s Feature Film Development Office in New York before returning to South Africa in 1993. In Johannesburg, she lectured at Wits University in screenwriting and directing documentaries for SABC.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:  
A Woman’s Place (2000).

Filmography:
A Woman’s Place (1998).

Sunday Films at Mid-Manhattan Library

Every Sunday, African Film Festival, Inc. and Mid-Manhattan Library will present screenings of cutting-edge classic and contemporary works from Africa and the Diaspora to the Midtown community and present a diverse and dynamic portrait of people of African heritage, through the cinematic exploration of history, culture and art.

Location:Mid-Manhattan Library Annex, Manhattan

SEPTEMBER
Date: September 11, 2011
Film: Last Angel of History (Preceded by:Pumzi (Air))

Date: September 18, 2011
Film: Aristotle’s Plot (Preceded by: I Bring You Frankincense)

Date: September 25, 2011
Film: Welcome II the Terrordome (Preceded by: Meokgo and the Stick Fighter)

OCTOBER
Date: October 2, 2011
Film: Cuba: An African Odyssey

Date: October 9, 2011
Film: Che’s Swahili Translator (Preceded by: Brothers in Arms)

Date: October 16, 2011
Film: The Great Dance

Date: October 23, 2011
Film: Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness (Preceded by: Battle for the Hearts and Minds)

Date: October 30, 2011
Film: The Colonial Misunderstanding /Malentendu Colonial

PAST SCREENINGS:

SEPTEMBER
Date: September 11, 2011
Film: Last Angel of History (Preceded by: Pumzi (Air) )

Date: September 18, 2011 
Film: Aristotle’s Plot (Preceded by: I Bring You Frankincense)

Date: September 25, 2011
Film: Welcome II the Terrordome (Preceded by: Meokgo and the Stick Fighter)

JULY
Date: July 10, 2011
Film: Black Orpheus

Date: July 17, 2011 –
Film: Shoot the Messenger

Date: July 24, 2011 –
Film: Cosmic Africa

Date: July 31, 2011 –
Film: Saint Louis Blues (Preceded by: Festival in the Desert, The Tent Sessions)

Lisa Merton

Lisa Merton coverBiography: Lisa Merton started out her career as a weaver. She studied textile design and weaving in Scandinavia and, after returning to the U.S., worked professionally as a weaver for ten years. While studying in Norway she was inspired by a series of tapestries that depicted the occupation of Norway by the Nazis. Her intent was to weave tapestry and use it as an art form for social change but instead she ended up as a production weaver. It was not until she started making films in 1989 that she fulfilled her intent to weave images that could inspire social change. She has a Masters in Teaching English and has taught English as a second language in multi-cultural classrooms. She brings her interest in education, cultural diversity, and social change, as well as her skill as a craftsman, to the filmmaking process.

SOURCE: http://takingrootfilm.com/production-team.htm

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai (20014).

Filmography:
The Stuff of Dreams (1976);
Blanche: A Profile of Blanche Honegger Moyse (1986);
Wolf Kahn: Landscape Painter (1990);
Bridge of Fire (1992);
Home to Tibet (1995);
The World in Claire’s Classroom (2000);
Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai (2008).