One of the reasons recently given by members of the local advisory committee to the responsible authorities for withholding much-needed subsidies to the Africa film festival in my home town was the question whether enough films were available. Yeh. Here are another ten films we’ll be looking out for.
First, ‘The Golden Calf’ by Hassan Legzouli (trailer above) in which 17 year-old Sami gets sent by his father to a village in the Moroccan Atlas mountains “to make a man of him”. But, says the plot, “all Sami wants is to go back to France before his 18th birthday so he can get French nationality and get back together with his girlfriend. Sami and his cousin come up with a plan to steal an ox from the Moroccan royal family’s ranch and sell it to pay for the crossing back to France.” A timely film.
From Mauritius comes ‘The Children of Troumaron’. Troumaron, an area in Port Louis, forms the backdrop for a story about four youngsters. The film is an adaptation of Mauritian author Ananda Devi’s novel ‘Eve de ses décombres’ (Gallimard, 2006), and one of the only films by Mauritians (Harrikrisna and Sharvan Anenden, Ananda Devi’s husband and son) made in Mauritius (a big deal of this was made of a similar story when ‘Grey Matter’ became the first fiction feature made in Rwanda by a Rwandan, in 2011…):
‘Braids on a Bald Head’ is a short film by Nigerian director Ishaya Bako:
Another short, ‘Taharuki’ by Ekwa Msangi-Omari is set in Kenya in the aftermath of its 2008 post-election violence:
‘Bafatá Filme Clube’ is a portrait of cinema operator Canjajá Mané, who’s been on the job for over 50 years in the town of Bafatá (Guinea-Bissau):
Related to the one above is ‘Calypso Rose’, a documentary film about the “diva of Calypso music”. French-Cameroonian filmmaker Pascale Obolo spent four years with Calypso Rose on a journey which took her to Paris, New York, Trinidad and Tobago and “her ancestral home in Africa” [Guinea-Bissau]:
‘Xilunguine, The Promised Land’ is a documentary about a generation of “Tsongas” exchanging their pastoral life for a life in the city (Xilunguine, Maputo):
‘In Search of Oil and Sand’ is a film about a film about a coup d’état shot by members of the Egyptian royal family in 1952 – just weeks before they were swept from power by a real revolution:
And lastly there is the documentary ‘Hinterland’. Synopsis: “In 2002, the young Sudanese asylum seeker Kon Kelei starred in the Dutch feature film Sleeping Rough, about the friendship between a Sudanese refugee and a grouchy war veteran. At that time, the former child soldier had just been refused asylum in the Netherlands. During the shoot and afterward, documentary filmmaker Albert Elings taught Kon how to use a video camera and how to make a video diary of his life … When the situation in Sudan is considered safe enough, Elings follows Kon on his first trip back.” A fragment: