In Frelimo’s (Mozambique’s party in power since independence) official story of its liberation struggle and its socialist project after independence, many aspects get silenced. One among these are the re-education centers to “purify” the “compromised” that had not yet adhered to the values of the “new man” that Frelimo intended to create. Alleged criminals, traitors, […]
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the New York African Film Festival. The Festival–from April 3rd to the 9th at Lincoln Center–is still the longest running, and probably most significant, African film festival in North America. (I’ve helped out on the festival in the past, so I’m biased.) It is worth remembering what the […]
The secret to making a good movie about sport is to make sure there isn’t any sport in it. Remember ‘Invictus‘? Remember ‘Goal‘? Exactly. Distinguished Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani must have known this, because there isn’t any sport in his film, ‘Maami’, even though his hero, Kashy (Wole Ojo), is a global footballing superstar who […]
From the opening scenes of Black Africa, White Marble, we learn that Brazzaville, in Republic of Congo, is the only capital in Africa to still carry the name of a European. While Pietro Savorgnan di Brazza’s far more famous contemporary, Henry “Dr. David Livingston, I presume” Stanley, is remembered as the handmaiden who ushered in […]
This film festival–still the premier site for African film in New York City and on the US east coast–opens tonight at Lincoln Center with a showing of “Mama Africa,” the 2011 documentary by Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki about the life of singer Miriam Makeba “who brought South African music to the world.” The well structured […]
It’s not hard to see why Rumbi Katedza’s first feature has been described as a Zimbabwean ‘Sex and the City’. Four high-flying twenty-something women spend a good chunk of the movie hanging out in trendy Harare bars talking sex, dating, and marriage. There’s kissing, laughing, gossiping and some great outfits. Luckily, unlike the HBO series, there’s no annoying voiceover offering throwaway insights every five scenes.
Towards the final scenes of Restless City, Jessye Norman’s solo soprano voice scales the great buildings and the conveyor belts of vehicles, between all of which a small red scooter navigates, carrying the slim bodies of Djibril and Trina. They are here, in this city, with all their desires clenched in their mouths. It is Norman’s voice, following the music composed by Richard Strauss to the poetry of Herman Hesse, that lifts our two immigrants’ desires up on the currents of her song, skylarks freed into the night sky.
The annual New York African Film Festival takes place till the end of May. One of the outstanding films on the program is “Un Homme Qui Crie” (A Screaming Man) by Chadian director, Mahamat Saleh Haroun. The film won the 2010 Cannes Jury Prize. Public screenings of Un Homme Qui Crie are scheduled for 26 and 28 […]
The New York African Film Festival was just voted the fourth best festival in the city–no mean feat. The 17th edition of the festival kicks of later this week at Lincoln Center and a few other venues around New York City. Highlights include Oliver Hermanus’ claustrophobic “Shirley Adams,” about a mother in a coloured township […]