AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

For at least six seasons now the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), in conjunction with American Public Television (APT) has presented AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, on “contemporary life throughout the African Diaspora.” Past seasons have brought the films “Welcome to Nollywood” (a good introduction Africa’s largest homegrown film industry) “10 Days in Africa” (an African-American filmmaker travels to West Africa), the post-quake “Haiti: One Day, One Destiny,” “An African Election” (Dennis Laumann reviewed it here), “Calypso Rose,” “Stolen” (about slavery in Polisario Front refugee camps and which the Front, unsuccessfully, tried to censor), “A Lot Like You” (a beautiful piece of introspective filmmaking; definitely a highlight for me) and “Dear Mandela” (I’ve written about it here). The films are premiered on the WORLD channel and usually comes with a highly visible actor as host.

This season it’s the actor Anthony Mackie. (Past hosts include Idris Elba, in the inaugural season, Gabourey Sidibe and Wyatt Cenac.) I’ve previewed at least three of this season’s six films: “Boys of Summer” (about a youth baseball team from the Caribbean island of Curaçao competing in the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania almost every year since the early 1990s–also a tale of small island nationalism), “Doin’ It in the Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC” (writer, DJ and former athlete Bobbito Garcia’s fast-paced ode to playground basketball in New York City) and tonight’s film “War Don Don” (premiering tonight 8 pm Eastern / 10 pm Pacific; check your local listings). 

“War Don Don” revolves primarily around the case of Issa Sesay, a former Sierra Leonean rebel leader put on trial by the United Nations at one its “special courts” post-civil war. Sesay committed horrific human rights abuses during the war. The case is complicated since Sesay’s defenders describe him as a key player in the peace process. But more than Sesay’s guilt, “War Don Don” (the title means “war is over”) is really about how the international justice system works. It is also a timely film.  Here’s the trailer:

More information here.

 

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Sean Jacobs

Otherwise known as Hasan Wasan.

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