The AfricAvenir "African Perspectives" Film Series in Windhoek has become an established institution in Namibia’s capital over the years. Here we give you an overview of our planning for the year 2013, a year full of good African films, created in Africa for African and global audiences!
January Opening Film 2013
Cabralista – Present & Collective Memory, Cabo Verde/ Luxemburg
Director: Val Lopez, Cabo Verde, Luxembourg, 2011, 52 min, documentary
Main Theme: Commemorating Amilcar Cabral
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Amilcar Carbal the film commemorates this global leader and philosopher and his legacy. Inspired and artistically designed with the fantastic Opus of Amilcar Cabral in mind, the goal is to put his theories and ideas in the spotlight. The goal of this movie is to spread Cabral’s words …… and wisdom and support the Cabralist concept of re-Africanisation of the spirit, recognised all around the world as a pillar of African emancipation. nFebruarynCradock Four, South Africa
Director: David Forbes, South Africa, 93 min, documentary
Main theme: The brutal murder of four prominent Eastern Cape anti-Apartheid activists, Anti Apartheid struggle
On 27 June 1985, South African security forces set up a roadblock to intercept a car near the city of Port Elizabeth. Two of the four anti-Apartheid activists in the car had been secretly targeted for assassination. Matthew Goniwe was a popular teacher in Cradock, and also a revolutionary. Fort Calata, another teacher and activist was also on the hit list. Sparrow Mkonto, a railway union activist, and Sicelo Mhlauli, a visiting headmaster and childhood friend, were also in the car. They were never seen alive again.
AfricAvenir meets Spoken Word: Words in Motion. Short Films meet Poetry
The two cultural organisations presents the short films “Lezare” (Ethiopia), “Zebu and the Photofish” (Kenya/Uganda), “Mwansa the Great” (Sambia), and “We also walked on the Moon” (DRC) accompanied by a poetry session in which the poets will presents poetry relating to the films.nJannat Ali – My Name is Not Ali, Egypt, Germany
Director/Producer: Viola Shafik, Producer: Onsi Abou Seif, Egypt/Germany, 2011, 94 min, documentary
Main theme: Racism in German Society, Fassbender, Ben Salem
His anti-racist film Ali – Fear Eats Soul (1973) gained German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder international acclaim. The protagonist, an Arab foreign worker, was played by Moroccan El Hedi Ben Salem M’barek Mohammed Mustafa, Fassbinder’s lover at that time. Collage-like, through interviews of his colleagues, family and archive material, the film courageously deals with the racism of post-war German society, the complexity of the real El Hedi Ben Salem – victim vs ambivalent aggressor – and the invention by the Fassbinder troupe, an image not revised by most of its members till today.
MarchnLa Pirogue, Senegal/France
Director: Moussa Toure, Senegal, France, 2012, 87 min, fiction
Main theme: Immigration to “Eldorado” Europe, social rights
Illuminating the desperate and moving human stories behind lurid headlines about illegal immigration, La Pirogue is a colourful and compelling drama about a boat full of would-be economic migrants attempting the perilous weeklong Atlantic crossing from Senegal to mainland Europe. nAprilnSobukwe – A Great Soul, South Africa (rescreening due to public demand)
Director: Mickey Madoda Dube, Producer: Carolyn Carew, South Africa, 2011, 104 min, documentary
Main theme: Anti-Apartheid Struggle, Sharpeville, Pass-Law Burnings, PAC, Sobukwe
The film celebrates the life of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, restoring him to his rightful place as a leading figure in South African history. Sobukwe’s was a life of firsts, as the film highlights. His decisive action on 21 March, 1960 resulted in the historic day now known as “Sharpeville Day”, and lit the first fire that eventually led to the final demise of apartheid. Sobukwe’s actions paved the way for Steve Biko, and guided him to another historic moment on 16 June, 1976. He gave Pan Africanism new life, refining the ethos, taking it to the street and making it a common feature of the struggle in South Africa, laying the ground for the path to Black Consciousness. Ultimately, the film succeeds to emphasise the loss of a great soul to humanity in Sobukwe.
Grey Matter, Rwanda
Director: Kivu Ruhorahoza, Rwanda, 2011, 100 min, fiction
Main theme: Reconciliation, Dealing with Past/Genocide, Trauma
Grey Matter offers a rare narrative insight into the “burden of surviving” for multiple sectors of the Rwandan population. Kivu Ruhorahoza transformed his catharsis into a poignant representation of how genocide so deeply impacts individuals and how survivors manage to move on.nMaynCairo 678, Egypt
Director: Mohamed Diab, Producer: Bushra Rozza, Egypt, 2010, 100 min, fiction
Main Theme: Sexual Harassment, Women Empowerment
Cairo 678 is a blunt but powerful portrait of three women of varying social backgrounds rebelling against the sexual harassment endemic to that country’s culture. Although the film veers uneasily between character study, social criticism and less lethal, Death Wish-style vigilante action, it nonetheless sheds important light on a rarely depicted subject.nJunenAfrica Shafted: Under one roof, South Africa
Director/Producer/Camera Operator/Offline Editor: Ingrid Martens, South Africa, 2011, 50 min, documentary
Main theme: Immigration/Xenophobia in RSA, PanAfricanism
The film purports to look at xenophobia through situating itself in the intense and somewhat claustrophobic surrounding of the lifts of Africa’s highest apartment building, the Ponte in Johannesburg, which links the 52 stories, housing nationalities from all across Africa. In these lifts, the film encounters non-South African residents and their feelings toward one another.nMan on Ground, South AfricaDirector/Writer: Akin Omotoso, Producers: T.O.M. Pictures, Rosie Motene Prouctions, 1Take Media, HashhayAfric Productions, Chrisdon Productions, South Africa, 2011, 80 min, fictionMain theme: Immigration/Xenophobia in RSA, refugees, Celebrating World Refugee DayThere are three sides to every story. Yours, mine, and the truth. No one is lying, but memories shared serve each differently. A bold and exacting portrayal of rising xenophobia in South Africa, Man on Ground tells the story of a young Nigerian man living in the African refugee tenements of Johannesburg who disappears against the background of animosity against immigrants flaring into violent rioting. In the span of a single night, his brother, on a short visit from London, tries to elucidate the mystery.nJulynWeek of Classic Egyptian Films 22-27 July 2013 (see seperat News)nAugustnAl Massir – Destiny, Egypt/France
Director: Youssef Chahine, Producer: Gabriel Khoury, Humbert Balsan, Egypt/France, 1997, 135 min, fiction
Main theme: Religious tolerance, against radicalism/religious fundamentsalism
Destiny recalls the story of Averoes and takes place in 12th century Andalusia. The philosopher, writer, scientist Averroes created a school of thought that reflects on all of the West, down to our times. Caliph Al Mansur, however, under the influence of fundamentalists, ordered all of the philosopher’s books burned. To keep Averroes‘ work alive, his family and friends made copies of the books and, inspite of the persecution, resolved to take them beyond the frontiers of Islam.
Winner of the 1997 Cannes‘ Fiftieth Anniversary Palme d’OrnAndalusia Mon Amour, Morocco
Director/Prodcuer: Mohamed Nadif, Producer: Rachida Saadi, Morocco, 2012, 86 min, fiction
Main theme: Immigration to “Eldorado” Europe
Saïd and Amine are two students from Casablanca dreaming of Europe. They end up in a small villagein the North of Morocco. With the help of the schoolteacher, they leave for the European coast on a small boat but they are shipwrecked. The sea washes Amine back onto the coast of the village. Saïd is washed away on a Spanish beach. Andalusia seems strange to Saïd. Meanwhile, in the Moroccan village, Amine notices strange things happening…nSeptember
The Miscreants, Morocco/Switzerland
Director: Mohcine Besri, Producers: Nicolas Wadimoff, Mohcine Besri, Michel Merkt, Morocco/Switzerland, 2011, 88 min, fiction
Main theme: Religious fundamentalism, terrorism
On the order of their spiritual leader, three young Islamists kidnap a group of free-spirited actors who are about to go on tour with their latest show. But when the kidnappers arrive at the isolated farmhouse in the countryside designated as the spot to imprison their frightened and bewildered captives, they find themselves unable to reach their commanders for further orders. Over seven tense days of forced seclusion and interaction, the two groups find that their most closely held convictions and prejudices are challenged.nOctobernDirector of La Noire de….- Black Girl: Ousmane Sembene, Senegal, 1966, 65 min, fiction
Director of October: Abderrahmane Sissako, Mauritania/Russia, 1992, 36 min, fictionLa Noire de …. – Black Girl, Senegal/France & October, Mauritania/Russia
Main theme: Racism
Black Girl is an exploration of a Senegalese woman who is transplanted to France to work as a maid for a French family. She is stripped of her cultural identity and dissolved into a person of a lesser class whose sole function is to clean up after the household. Her disenchantment with her position leads to hopelessness. Diouana decides to take matters into her own hands and ends her life so she can emancipate herself from the environment of slave-like captivity. October features a black African student, Idrissa, who is about to leave Russia, and his white Russian girlfriend Irina, who has recently become pregnant. The impending departure makes interaction complicated, and isolation and solitude increasingly overwhelming.
Tey – Aujourd’hui, Senegal
Director: Alain Gomis, Producer: Granit Films, Agora Films, Maia Cinema, Cinekap, Senegal, 2011, fiction
Main theme: Consciously using remaining time before death, dealing with death in life
It happens sometimes, everyone knew that. How? No one could say exactly how, through experience perhaps. This is a place where Death still sometimes warns that it is coming. It happens the day before, like a certitude that descends upon the bodies and minds of the one who has been chosen, and the people close to him. No doubting it, no fighting it. Today will be Satché’s last day.
Virgin Margerida, Mozambique
Director: Licinio Azevedo, Producer: Pedro Pimenta, Mozambique, 2012, 90 min, fiction
Main theme: Women oppression & Women empowerment after Independence in Mozambique
Azevedo drew on the stories of real women who endured the Mozambican "re-education camps" for this dramatic and inspiring elegy to the insurgent spirit of women across nations, histories and cultures. Having directed many dramas and documentaries, including The Last Prostitute (1999) a documentary about the "re-education" camps for sex workers created after the independence, Azevedo’s Virgin Margarida is more than a follow up to this former work. Starting with the revolutionary military raiding the city streets and deporting indiscriminately sex workers, cabaret singers and paperless girls, it describes the brutal treatment inflicted upon the "to be re-educated" women in the name of revolutionary values, and the slow building of solidarity among women of various backgrounds. It is an uncompromised comment upon the men who are now ruling Mozambique.