AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

documentary film

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Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Can documentary film as a genre do justice to the astounding life of Fela Kuti?

Documentary films truncate an entire life into fleeting bursts of exuberance and somber moments. Any moments that exist in between, however significant they are, are left out completely or brushed over. In making a documentary, on any subject, the director carves a narrative. And at times, the narrative carves itself. The decision then to make a documentary...

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

“Just like in a science fiction movie”

The Mtsweni family lives in a squatter camp in Mamelodi township outside Pretoria, South Africa’s capital. Seventeen year old Lerato, who goes by Moskito, tells young German director Benjamin Kahlmeyer: “It’s not a real city. It’s what we call a...

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Fighting somebody else’s war

By Basia Lewandowska Cummings We British are very good at honoring the dead. Last Friday Prime Minister David Cameron, his deputy Nick Clegg et al attended the annual Remembrance Day ceremony; our political elite competed to appear...

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Youssef Chahine’s Cairo

The late, great Egyptian director Youssef Chahine shot this drama/documentary/biography on Cairo for television in 1991. As brilliant and beautiful a depiction of the city as any, Chahine infused the story with his usual political narratives–power, wealth, poverty, racial...

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

The Uprising

“The Uprising of Hangberg” is filmmaking at its incendiary best. Part agitprop piece, testimonies, campaign document, and popular history, the film recounts the violent events of September 2010 when municipal police on the orders of the Cape Town’s...

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