Ghanaian Spiderman and Other Stories

No.17 in our regular update on new African films to watch.

Jojo Abot in 'Kwaku Ananse' (2013).

Yes, we’ve been slacking a bit with the weekly round-ups of new films (whether completed, almost ready or still in their early production stages) this year. Let’s correct that. The first one is “Dona Tututa,” a documentary about legendary Cape Verdean pianist Epifania Évora (also known as Dona Tututa). The film is directed by João Alves da Veiga and had its première in January 2013. Then there is Kwaku Ananse, Akosua Adoma Owusu’s short film which, she writes, is “an effort to preserve a fable my father passed on to me.” The film draws upon Ghanaian mythology, “combining semi-autobiographical elements with the tale of Kwaku Ananse, a trickster in West African stories who appears as both spider and man.” Don’t underestimate what an Indiegogo campaign can do. The film was screened at the Berlinale this month.

I Love Democracy: Tunisia is part of a TV documentary series produced by Fabrice Gardel and Franck Guérin, originally intended for the European Arte broadcaster (whose website also has more details). The images and interviews were recorded just after the fall of Ben Ali:

Roger Milla: The 4 Lives of a Legend (“les 4 vies d’une Légende”) is a documentary by Alain Fongue. You have to wonder why it took so long for someone to make a film about the legendary football player from Cameroon, or did I miss some? (Of course this moment is also how I got to know him.) The distribution of the film runs via Patou Films. We don’t have a trailer, but this FIFA mini-feature gives a sense of Milla’s impact.

Finally, Goodbye Morocco came out in local theaters here this week. The first reviews are promising. In those reviews, I read French-Algerian director Nadir Moknèche gets compared to Pedro Almodóvar on a regular basis. Add to that the “film noir” tag, and we’re already warmed to seeing the Tangier-based film.

Further Reading

Black President

Kudzanai Chiurai, the Zimbabwean-born South African artist known for his ironic commentaries on postcolonial politics, is the subject of a documentary film by BLK JKS guitarist Mpumelelo Mcata.