documentary films


Sunday, October 20th, 2013

When marketing men make films about football

I finally got around to watching “Thierry Henry 1:1″ on iTunes. The promo material is written in breathless prose: “Who is the personality hidden in this dream career? … What are his ideals? What goals does he want to reach? … Thierry Henry is a world star torn between past and present.” This is all false advertising

Friday, December 21st, 2012

The Trouble with “The Trouble with Aid”

“And the world weeps with them…”, narrates the solemn 70s commentator over images of children in Biafra, bloated by kwashiorkor. These are the opening shots of the documentary film, The Trouble With Aid, which screened on the...

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Film Africa (4): ‘Veejays in Dar es Salaam’

My first thought was wow; some anthropologists went to Tanzania to make a documentary about the politics of translation and made something a lot more fun. This is the inside story of Lufufu and DJ Mark, the...

Monday, December 5th, 2011

The documentary imaginery

At the recent Film Africa film festival in London, the new Ethiopian feature film “Atletu” (The Athlete) was screened to a sold-out audience. Directed by Rasselas Lakew and Davey Frankel, it is a portrayal of Abebe Bikila,...

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

‘Soccer movies about poor, brown people’

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Black Power Mixtape

When the documentary film, “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975” first made the rounds of festivals earlier this year and went on limited release this summer, the reaction of mainstream critics and film blogs (example here) were overwhelmingly...

Friday, October 7th, 2011

‘The Art of El Anatsui’

Film Review by Elliot Ross* Making a film about an artist whose work is as beautiful as El Anatsui’s must be a daunting thing. But Susan Vogel, in her new documentary, ‘Fold, Crumple, Crush: The Art of...

Friday, October 7th, 2011

New Films

Here’s my semi-regular round-up of trailers for new African or African-themed films which I wish to get my hands on. It’s a big continent, so I am not surprised at the output. Some of these are sure...

Monday, June 20th, 2011

The Life and Times of Harry Belafonte

Apart from his role in American racial and class struggles from the 1950s onwards, Harry Belafonte (now 83) played a central role in popularizing struggles for justice on the African continent, especially against white racism in South...

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Soccer Soap Opera

Kathryn Mathers Soap operas, soccer, social change – could it get better than that? “The Team,” a documentary by Patrick Reed and White Pine Productions, about the making of a soap opera featuring a ‘mixed’ football team...