Ladies’ Turn is a documentary film by Hélène Harder about a team of Senegalese women who fight to follow their passion for football “all the way from small, neighborhood fields to the tournament finals in Dakar’s newest stadium.” More details on the film’s website. Trailer above. For screening dates, check on their Facebook page.
The Curse is a short film by British-Moroccan director Fyzal Boulifa, based on an anecdote told by his Moroccan mother and shot in the rural part of Chichaoua, “a little nowhere town” on the highway between Marrekech and Essauoira. Sight&Sound has an interview with Boulifa. The film is an allegorical tale about female sexuality, male dominance and gender relations in contemporary rural Morrocco, and Boulifa, backed by the UKs BFI & Channel 4 is surely heading towards a feature film next. The lead role is played by Ibtissam Zabara (left).
The Shore Break by Ryley Grunenwald (director) and Odette Geldenhuys (producer) follows a young rural activist and her 79-year-old headman in their joint fight to defend their family’s land (located in Pondoland, South Africa) after a government decision to allow the construction of a highway through their ancestral lands, which gives an Australian mining company access to their titanium-rich and eco-sensitive coastline. Follow the production and funding process on their Facebook page; in the meantime, here’s the trailer:
Also about mining, on the other tip of the continent, is Tunisian filmmaker Sami Tlili’s Cursed be the Phosphate, which tells the story of the 2008 revolts in the Gafsa mining basin, and more particularly in the town of Redayef. Tlili suggests these protests were an important precursor to the country’s 2011 Revolution:
Mercy Mercy is the latest instalment in what seems to have become a business itself: documentaries on (Ethiopian) adoptions gone wrong. Somewhat grandiose production quote: “Inspired by tales of globalisation such as Iñárritu’s Babel, [the film] also draws on the epic style of Fridthjof Film’s Armadillo.” Here’s a video interview with Katrine Riis Kjær, the Danish maker of the film. Judging by the few comments on the film’s website, it seems to have left first viewers perplexed. No trailer yet.
Kinshasa Mboka Te is a Congolese-Belgian “documentary road-movie” (directed by Douglas Ntimasiemi) set in the streets of Kinshasa, weaving together personal interviews, music and animation:
Sudanna al Habib (“Our Beloved Sudan”), by director Taghreed Elsanhouri, “takes the historical trajectory of a nation from birth in 1956 to its death or transmutation into two separate states in 2011 and within this structure it interlaces a public and a private story. Inviting key political figures to reflexively engage with the historical trajectory of the film while observing an ordinary mixed race family caught across the divides of a big historical moment as they try to make sense of it and live through it” (source: again, the film’s Facebook page — it’s remarkable how many films on a smaller budget make good use of this platform). Here’s a recent interview with the director. There are a few first reviews available online (here and here).
Maffé Tiga (Peanut Butter Stew) is a short fiction film by Senegalese-Guinean director Mohamed Dione:
(If you have some bandwidth to spare, you can watch the film in full here.)
We Never Give Up II is the follow-up documentary to a first film by the same title, produced in 2002, which highlighted the exclusion of survivors by the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the battle for final reparations by those included. Ten years later, the Khulumani Support Group continues its campaign for comprehensive and inclusive reparations from the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, and from multinationals that aided apartheid. (If you’re in Cape Town this month, the documentary will screen at the Baxter Theatre Concert Hall.)
And information about Ode In Blood is sparse for now, but with this kind of synopsis, and a trailer like the one below, it can hardly go wrong. Director is South African Rea Rangaka: