Newton Aduaka, Ezra, Film still, Nigeria/France 2006, 110 min, German subtitles,
Cheikh Ndiaye, L'Appel des Arenes (The Call of the Arena), Film still, Senegal / France / Morocco / Burkina Faso 2006, 105 min, German subtitles.
Jihan El-Tahri, Cuba – An African Odyssey, Film still, Egypt / France 2007, 118 min, English subtitles.
Katy Lena Ndiaye, En Attendant les Hommes (Waiting for Men), Film still, Senegal / France 2007, 56 min, English subtitles.
John Barker, Bunny Chow, Film still, South Africa 2006, 95 min, English subtitles.
Mama Keita, Le Sourire du Serpent (The Snake's Smile), Film still, 86 min, English subtitles, Guinea 2002,
Pierre Yaméogo, Delwende, Film still, Burkina Faso 2005, 90 min, English subtitles.
ZéZé Gamboa, The Hero, Film still, Angola / Portugal 2004, 97 min, English subtitles.
Sylvestre Amoussou, Africa Paradis, Benin 2006, 86 min, English subtitles.
Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Daratt (Dry Season), Film still, Chad / France 2006, 95 min, German subtitles.
Mansour Sora Wade, Le Prix du Pardon (The Price of Forgiveness), Film still, Senegal 2002, 90 min, German subtitles.
Mama Keita, Le Fleuve (The River), Film still, Guinea 2002, 95 min, English subtitles.
Ben Diogaye Beye, Les Princes Noirs de St.Germain-des-Pres, Film still, Senegal 1975, 15 min, French OV with German translation over headphones.
Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda, Juju Factory, Film Still, Republic of Congo 2006, 95 min. English subtitles.
Ousmane Sembène, La noire de… (Black Girl), Film still, Senegal 1966, 65 min, French OV with German transation over headphones.
POST COLONIAL ESTHETICS
October 10, 2008, 8 p.m.
Drum, Director Zola Maseko, 95 min, German subtitles, South Africa/Germany/USA 2004, Discussion with the director. South Africa in the 1950s: Drum magazine is a hive of resistance against Apartheid. Sports reporter Henry Nxumalo knows that alcohol and jazz pubs cannot whitwash reality. He endangers himself and his family with reports on the terrible conditions on a farm and in prison. The film, which won the grand prize at FESPACO 2005, is based on real events: from 1951 to 1965, Drum was the most important voice of the black population at the Cape of Good Hope.
October 10, 2008, 10 p.m.
Les Saignantes (The Bloodiest), Director Jean-Pierre Bekolo, 93 min, German subtitles, Cameroon/France 2005, Discussion with the director. They bleed and they make people bleed: two women — young, attractive and lethal — set out to liberate a futuristic country from corrupt men obsessed with sex and power. They celebrate the Mevungu — one of the Beti people’s rituals which is reserved for secret societies of women and is only solemnized in times of crisis, which the director believes have arrived now … A spectacular science fiction political thriller that won the silver 2007 Etalon de Yennengar at the central African FESPACO festival.
October 11, 2008, 8 p.m.
Le Sourire du Serpent (The Snake's Smile), Director Mama Keita, 86 min, English subtitles, Guinea 2002, Discussion with the director. Nighttime in no-man’s land, at a bus stop somewhere: Marion, a young Slav prostitute and Adama from Africa. They are waiting for the last bus. But it is not going to arrive – the woman driver has been dead for some time now. The two women are at one another’s mercy and victims of their fears. The sense of danger is overwhelming. Is Adama the murderer?
October 11, 2008, 8 p.m.
Thomas Sankara, l'Espoir Assassiné, Director Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda, Democratic Republic of Congo/France/Great Britain 1991, 26 min, English subtitles, Discussion with the director. A portrait — a thin line between forgetting and mystification. The film sets off on the tracks of the "Ché Guevara of Black Africa", the president of Burkina Faso, who was assassinated in 1987.
Les caprices de Marianne V, Director Kamel Chérif and France Bonnet, France 2008, 57 min, French OV with German over headphones. What are Marianne’s whims? — the director asks. Why did a French television station refuse to show Kamel Chérif’s prize-winning film about a boy who arranged his own circumcision? An autobiographical search for the true content of France’s egalitarian principles.
October 12, 2008, 2 p.m.
The Hero, Director ZéZé Gamboa, Angola/Portugal 2004, 97 min, English subtitles. All Vitorio has to show for his part in the Angolan civil war are a medal and an artificial leg. One night, they are stolen from him. Only his friendship with a ten-year-old boy, who is searching for his father, stops him from giving up. A relentless yet affectionate portrait of people who are traumatised by war and are trying to find a way of living a normal life again. Winner of the international drama jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
October 12, 2008, 4 p.m.
Ezra, Director Newton Aduaka, Nigeria/France 2006, 110 min, German subtitles, Discussion with the director. Sierra Leone 2002: Ezra was a child soldier. Now he faces a United Nations tribunal over a massacre in his own village. Alcohol and drugs made a huge gap in his memory. Then his sister makes a terrible accusation… The film, which was made almost exclusively with lay actors, tells Ezra’s story, which is characteristic of the fate of 120,000 child soldiers in Africa. Best Film award at the Durban International Film Festival 2007.
October 12, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
Testament, Director John Akomfrah, Ghana/Great Britain 1988, 76 min, English subtitles, Discussion with the director. Historical archive footage, dream sequences and political reflections are interwoven to create a complex experiment that is intensified by the ritualistic music: twenty years after Ghana’s socialist experiment under Kwameh Nkrumah, a former activist returns to her home country as a reporter. She is supposed to do a report on Werner Herzog’s Cobra Verde, part of which was filmed in a former slave fort in Ghana.
October 12, 2008, 8 p.m.
Cuba – An African Odyssey, Director Jihan El-Tahri, Egypt/France 2007, 118 min, English subtitles, Discussion with the director. The hitherto largely ignored history of Cuba’s support for African liberation struggles: from Ché Guevara’s campaign of retaliation in the Congo following Lumumba’s assassination to the end of Apartheid in South Africa, 300,000 Cubans fought alongside African revolutionaries. A look at an unusual Cold War setting: with spectacular, rarely shown archive footage of Nelson Mandela and Ché Guevara.
AFRICA UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
October 16, 2008, 8 p.m.
This Is My Africa, Director Zina Saro-Wiwa, Nigeria/Great Britain 2008, 48 min, English OV. "Close your eyes and think of Africa. What do you see?" Twenty people were asked this question, among them the artist Yinka Shonibare and the filmmaker John Akomfrah. A crash course in African identity/identities: "I wanted to make a film that used private reminisces to challenge and re-balance the way Africa is talked about publicly - which is often negative and reductive."
Black Business, Director Osvalde Lewat-Hallade, Cameroon/France 2007, 90 min, English subtitles. A moving film about Cameroon in the 1990s when the police got out of control while fighting crime. Hundreds of people disappeared. Black Business combines shocking interviews with sensitive observations of people’s grief and asks how justice can prevail even in a brutalised society.
October 17, 2008, 8 p.m.
Unyurangabo, Director Lee Isaac Chung, USA/Rwanda 2007, 97 min, English subtitles. Can the wounds heal after an act of genocide? Munyurangabo steals a machete and sets off with his friend Sangwa for a Rwandan village to avenge his parents. Their friendship is really put to the test. This moving feature film was made with lay actors attending a film seminar for refugees and war orphans.
October 17, 2008, 10 p.m.
Les Maîtres Fous (The Mad Masters), D: Jean Rouch, France 1955, 26 min, English subtitles. The best-known film by the French director Jean Rouch, has polarised people ever since it was first released fifty years ago. Is it an ethnographic document of a fascinating anti-colonial dance ritual in West Africa, or an example of late-colonial Africa romanticism?
Moi, un Noir (Me, a Black), Director Jean Rouch, France 1958, 72 min, English subtitles. With Moi, un Noir Jean Rouch coined the expression ethno-fiction, which did much to influence the style of Nouvelle Vague. Rouch accompanies a Nigerian docker and veteran of the war in Indo-China: work on the docks, an afternoon nap, gambling in the evening — chance decides who will emerge the winner at the end of the day.
October 18, 2008, 8 p.m.
Le Fleuve (The River), Director Mama Keita, Guinea 2002, 95 min, English subtitles. After the murder of a drug-dealer, young Alfa flees to Senegal, where he meets a relative he has never seen before. Shocked by his encounter with Africa, he moves on in search of an imaginary river and his own identity. A thriller and road movie in one, Le Fleuve shows a society that is being globalised not by flows of capital, but by emigration.
October 18, 2008, 8 p.m.
Daratt (Dry Season), Director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad/France 2006, 95 min, German subtitles. A parable on the vicious circle of violence and the (im)possibility of forgiveness in Chad in the aftermath of the civil war. Atim, who has a revolver in his pocket, starts working for the man who killed his father. However, he finds it far more difficult to put his plan into operation than he had originally imagined. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun: "I’m interested in the landscape after a storm; in life that stubbornly goes on amidst great expanses of ruins and scorched earth." Special Jury Prize in Venice.
October 19, 2008, 4 p.m.
Deweneti, Director Dyana Gaye, Senegal/France 2006, 15 min, English subtitles. Ousmane lives in Dakar, is seven years old, he attends a Koran school and has to earn his living begging. One day, however, he comes up with an idea: he writes to Father Christmas.
Un Matin Bonne Heure (Early in the Morning), Director Gahité Fofana, Guinea/France 2006, 77 min, English subtitles. One morning, two boys set off for Conakry airport bearing a letter: "Your Excellency, the Gentlemen Responsible in Europe: We appeal to your solidarity…" Two days later they are found in Brussels: frozen to death in the undercarriage of a jet airplane. Without preaching, the film sensitively portrays the last 48 hours in the lives of the two boys.
October 19, 2008, 6 p.m.
Delwende, Director Pierre Yaméogo, Burkina Faso 2005, 90 min, English subtitles. A politically explosive film about men, power and witch-hunts. When a village is struck by meningitis, Naboko, a rather inconvenient figure, is declared a "soul-eater" and forced to flee. Naboko’s daughter, who is raped and subsequently marries someone in the next village, sets off in search of her.
October 19, 2008, 6 p.m.
Bamako, Director Abderrahmane Sissako, Mali/France 2006, 118 min, German subtitles. A fictitious court case in a rear courtyard. The IMF and the World Bank are in the dock. Nearby, in Bamako, life goes on: children play among dogs, a beautiful woman sings a love song, a man dies. The film shows, in a manner as brilliant as it is laconic, how the North treats the South.
October 23, 2008, 8 p.m.
Borom Sarret, Director Ousmane Sembène, Senegal 1962, 22 min, French OV with German translation over headphones. A cart-man loses his livelihood because he dares to cross the arbitrary border into a modern administration district … Borom Saret is the first film shot by an African filmmaker in Africa.
La noire de… (Black Girl), Director Ousmane Sembène, Senegal 1966, 65 min, French OV with German transation over headphones. A young woman from Senegal, who is taken to the Riviere as a servant, discovers what it means to be reduced to the role of "black girl." With his social-realist approach, Sembène consciously creates a counterpoint to ethnically based identity politics of the kind demanded by the Négritude movement.
October 24, 2008, 8 p.m.
Les Princes Noirs de St.Germain-des-Pres, Director Ben Diogaye Beye, Senegal 1975, 15 min, French OV with German translation over headphones. A satire about young men who are prepared to make the most outrageous promises in order to satisfy the longings of young women for exotic experiences.
Lettre à Senghor, Director Samba Félix Ndiaye, Senegal 1998, 47 min, OV with subtitles, German voice over. A thoroughly conflicting picture by Leopold Senghor — poet, Senegal’s first president and a dominant father figure within Négritude.
Badou Boy, Director Djibril Diop Mambéty, Senegal 1970, 59 min, French OV with German translation over headphones. A cunning boy is pursued by an overweight policeman. "A lively film from Senegal: not made for a European audience but for the people in Africa’s metropolises."
October 24, 2008, 10 p.m.
Touki Bouki, Director Djibril Diop Mambéty, Senegal 1973, 86 min, German subtitles. Before they can set off for France — to the Promised Land — Monty and Anta must first fleece a rich playboy. But Monty will never begin the journey… A milestone in African and international film: fast, hard cuts, montages rich in symbolism, and very powerful images.
October 25, 2008, 8 p.m.
En Attendant les Hommes (Waiting for Men), Director Katy Lena Ndiaye, Senegal/France 2007, 56 min, English subtitles. Society on the edge of the Sahara is dominated by tradition and religion. However, three of the women don’t feel at all predestined to "wait for a man."
Traces, Empreintes de Femmes (Traces, Women’s Imprints), Director Katy Lena Ndiaye, Senegal/France 2003, 52 min, English subtitles. The film examines the world of the women and their wall paintings in a village in Burkina Faso. — A sensitive portrait, with outstanding photographs, of a society under enormous pressure to change.
October 25, 2008, 10 p.m.
L'Appel des Arenes (The Call of the Arena), Director Cheikh Ndiaye, Senegal/France/Morocco/Burkina Faso 2006, 105 min, German subtitles. In Senegal, wrestlers enjoy a special status: they are athletes and wise men at the same time. A wrestler saves Nalla, a boy of good birth, from a bunch of hooligans. But wrestling has its dark side too: the stadiums are controlled by the Mafia. This is the world of Sory, who is unemployed and a sneak thief. An intense look at the way myths and social reality clash.
October 26, 2008, 2 p.m.
Un Amour d'Enfant (A Child's Love), Director Ben Diogaye Beye, Senegal/Morocco/France 2003, 102 min, English subtitles. This film portrays the life of five middle-class children in Dakar. To all appearances, they are completely normal young kids torn between school and playing on the street, torn between their first loves and heartaches. On closer look, however, the film is also a social study of the precarious situation of the middle class in a globalised Africa: affectionate but never kitschy.
October 26, 2008, 6 p.m.
Ça Twiste a Poponguine (Twisting in Poponguine), Director Moussa Sene Absa, Senegal 1993, 90 min, English subtitles, Discussion with the director. The village of Poponguine in Senegal in the 1960s. Youths struck by twist fever shake off centuries’ old traditions. But a dispute between the gangs threatens to destroy their dream of a new future… This African pendant to American Graffiti evokes a time in which Western influences are accepted as long as they suit people and allow them to live out their tender, private dreams of happiness.
October 26, 2008, 6 p.m.
Le Prix du Pardon (The Price of Forgiveness), Director Mansour Sora Wade, Senegal 2002, 90 min, German subtitles. A dangerous fog hangs over a fishing village. Only one young man succeeds in lifting it. As a result, he wins the love of the beautiful Maxoy – and incurs the fatal jealousy of his best friend. A tragic story unfolds in which the question of the price of forgiveness finds an unexpected answer. Intense colour accents and the music of the stars Youssou N’Dour and Wasis Diop lend the film its unique atmosphere.
October 30, 2008, 8 p.m.
A very very Short Story of Nollywood, Director Awam Ampka & Manthia Diawara, Nigeria/USA 2008, 20 min, English OV, Nollywood, Nigeria’s Hollywood, arose without any outside "development aid": the simplest technology, video cameras: low to no budget — and immensely successful with local audiences. A very very Short Story of Nollywood shows the films’ very special style: from the conditions of production to the mise-en-scène.
The Nollywood Style, Director Jane Thurborn, Nigeria/UK 2008, 30 min, English OV, Discussion with Awam Ampka and Dorothee Wenner. The film examines the balancing act between learning by doing and the awakening interest of the government.
Mission Nollywood – Peace Mission, Director Dorothee Wenner, Germany 2008, 80 min, German subtitles, Discussion with the director. Mission Nollywood – Peace Mission follows one of the key protagonists of the scene, Peace Aniyam Fiberesima, who has made it her declared goal to explore new dimensions with Nollywood cinema.
October 31, 2008, 7 p.m.
Living in Bondage, Director Kenneth Nnebue, Nigeria 1992, 140 min, English OV. "This film," wrote the Guardian, confirms "that most of those 'big men'… came into their wealth by drinking their wives' blood… and will find salvation only when they confess their sins to Jesus Christ and ask forgiveness."
October 31, 2008, 10 p.m.
Thunderbolt, Director Tunde Kelani, Nigeria 2001, 98 min, English OV. Ngosi is an elegant young Igbo lady. Yinka is a Yoruba. They marry against the will of their relatives. It isn’t long, however, before the first problems arise. Yinka, who is very jealous, puts a spell — a Magun — on Ngosi, one designed to punish them with immediate death.
November 1, 2008, 8 p.m.
Violated, Director Amaka Igwe, Nigeria 1996, app. 240 min (in two parts), English subtitles. Heartache of the noblest kind: a story of secrets, betrayal and the overwhelming power of love. A beautiful woman from a poor background falls in love with a young man of good birth. However, their happiness is put to a severe test. First of all, her husband’s ex-wife returns, causing quite a stir. Then the young woman’s former boss turns up. He once raped her, got her pregnant and then cast her out. What do the two lovers really know about one another? Can their love survive these blows?
FOCUS SOUTH AFRICA
November 2, 2008, 4 p.m.
Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon, Director Khalo Matabane, South Africa 2005, 80 min, English subtitles. An impressive debate on the effects of war and expulsion, in which the boundaries between fiction and documentary are deliberately blurred. Keniloe, a young poet in Johannesburg, strikes up a conversation in the park with Fatima, who has fled the atrocities in Somalia. He decides to use her experiences as the basis for a book. Suddenly, however, she disappears. Equipped with a video-recorder, Keniloe sets off to find her.
November 2, 2008, 6 p.m.
Bunny Chow, Director John Barker, South Africa 2006, 95 min, English subtitles. Three stand-up comedians — a lady-killer, a desperate Muslim and a third man (a rather serious dish-washer with great ambitions) — set off for Oppikoppi, South Africa’s biggest rock festival. They hope that they will be a big hit and get loads of sex, alcohol and drugs. However, what they experience when they get there doesn’t exactly meet their expectations ...
November 2, 2008, 8 p.m.
Heartlines, Director Angus Gibson, South Africa 2006, 97 min, English subtitles. A second chance can change a life: Manyisa, who is marked by his violent past, gets such a chance from Pastor Jacob Musi — there is just one problem: the church choir is not his world. The pastor’s son gradually succeeds in winning Manyia’s confidence, but then his past threatens to catch up with him. His former gang boss orders him to return. Manyisa has to make a decision.
November 6, 2008, 7 p.m.
Africa Paradis, Director Sylvestre Amoussou, Benin 2006, 86 min, English subtitles, Discussion with the director, Berlin premiére. Africa Paradis changes the perspective: the film doesn’t show Africans who manage to arrive illegally in Europe, but a French couple who dream of a better life in Africa. When they do not receive a visa for the "United States of Africa," they — the engineer Olivier and the teacher Pauline — have to hire the services of a professional refugee smuggler...
November 7, 2008, 8 p.m.
Question a la Terre Natale (Questions to the Home Country), Director Samba Félix Ndiaye, Senegal 2006, 52 min, English subtitles, Discussion with the director, German premiére. After decades in exile, Samba Félix Ndiaye returns to Senegal, his home country. He barely recognises Dakar, the city of his youth. In his search for explanations, he meets old friends, intellectuals and members of international organisations. They paint an unsparing picture of the new Africa, which contradicts the one drawn by Western reporters.
November 7, 2008, 10 p.m.
Conakry Kas (The People of Conakry), Director Manthia Diawara, Guinea/USA 2004, 82 min, English OV. When Guinea achieved independence in 1958, the country underwent a cultural transformation that inspired new art forms inspired by traditional African cultures. Almost half a century later, Manthia Diawara returns to the country to see what has become of the "cultural revolution."
November 8, 2008, 6 p.m.
Teranga Blues, Director Moussa Sène Absa, Senegal 2006, 93 min, English subtitles, German première. An urban rap musical. The musician Madiké Diop, alias Dick, is expelled from France and lands, handcuffed, at Dakar airport. When a childhood friend offers him a chance to join his gang, which deals in arms, Dick accepts the offer — with disastrous consequences.
November 8, 2008, 8 p.m.
Faro – La Reine des Eaux (Faro – Goddess of the Waters), Director Salif Traoré, Mali / France / Canada / Germany / Burkina Faso 2007, 96 min, German subtitles. Discussion with the producer Bärbel Mauch. Zanga, driven from his village as an illegitimate child, returns home after many years. He wants to find out who his father is. But when he arrives something happens, which the villagers interpret as an angry reaction on the part of the river spirit, Faro. Conflicts erupt, revealing, in all their severity, the hierarchical mechanisms of a male-dominated society that is hostile to women and children.
November 9, 2008, 4 p.m.
El Ejido, La Loi du Profit (El Ejido – The Law of Profit), Director Jawad Rhalib, Morocco 2006, 82 min, English subtitles, Discussion with the director. Starvation wages, water contaminated by pesticide, cowsheds as accommodation: illegal workers from Africa work under extreme conditions in the Spanish town of El Ejido, producing fruit and vegetables for Europe’s discount markets. For the "Sans Papiers," however, the greenhouses are the gate to the West.
November 9, 2008, 6 p.m.
Juju Factory, Director Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda, Democratic Republic of Congo 2006, 95 min, English subtitles, Discussion with the director. The author Kongo Congo is faced with a decision: should he treat the Matonge, Brussels’ Congolese Community as a travel guide with a touch of ethnic roots or write a critical history? His publishers are breathing down his neck; multi-culti has mass-appeal. Kongo wants to show reality as it is, but he needs money.
November 9, 2008, 10:30 p.m.
Réves de Poussiéres (Dreams of Dust), Director Laurent Salguès, Burkina Faso/France 2006, 86 min, English subtitles. A goldmine in the Burkina Faso desert, a place for the world’s outcasts. One day, a Mali peasant appears with a suitcase in his hand. He wants to make his fortune — and forget the death of his little daughter, whose treatment he was unable to pay for.