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African Film Weekend at UR

8th Annual African Film Weekend

September 21st and 22nd, 2012

Sponsored by the University of Richmond’s Media Resource Center and the Office of International Education. Free and open to the public, all films are shown in the Ukrop Auditorium in the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.

The presenter for African Film Weekend this year will be Dr. Akinwumi Adesokan who is an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University. Among Dr. Adesokan┬┐s teaching and research interests are 20th century and 21st century African and African American/African Diaspora literatures and cultures and African cinemas and global cinemas. Dr. Adesokan will introduce and conduct post-screening discussions for each film in the program.

teza

Friday, Sept. 21, 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Teza
Ethiopia, Germany & France, 2008, directed by Haile Gerima & Michelange Quay
140 min., Not Rated
Teza dramatizes the return to Ethiopia of a political idealist (Anberber) who moved to Germany in search of higher education. While studying medicine and out of socialist idealism, his time and energy are also devoted to rid the country of a feudal leadership represented by Emperor Haile Selassie. His return many years later puts him face to face a country in turmoil at grips with a new dictatorship led by Mangistu Haile Mariam that presides over the disintegration of the country’s social cohesion. Flashbacks over a two-decade period (1990s down to 1970s) mimic the internal interrogations that have become commonplace in African political discourses. Is this return a curse to be cured? This is another issue the elders are attempting to address.

Saturday, Sept. 22, 9:00 a.m.
Kinshasa Symphony
Democratic Republic of Congo/Germany, 2010, directed by Claus Wischmann and Martin Baer
95 min., Not Rated
In a country torn by unending civil wars, ordinary people in the capital city of Kinshasa defy the odds and raise a philharmonic orchestra with scanty means, big hearts and the sheer will to play Beethoven. This is an illustration of how music allows the human mind to transcend serious odds.
**The short films Taxcarte, l’Etranger venu d’Afrique, and The Big Banana will also be shown during this morning program.

Saturday, Sept. 22, 11:15 a.m.
Big Banana
Cameroon, 2011, directed by Franck Bieleu
85 min., Not Rated
Banned in Cameroon, The Big Banana illustrates the poor working conditions in banana plantations and exposes the adverse impact on the people of a corporatocracy government that affords super profits for corporations at the expense of the local population. The Big Banana outlines land grabbing tactics by company Plantation du Haut Penja (PHP) and the ensuing devastation for communities: poverty, pollution, and sickness from pesticides. Bieleu, who spent two years filming residents in the remote countryside of Cameroon also features local cooperatives resisting the devastation through business alliances with fair trade organizations. As a result, The Big Banana not only exposes multinational corporations culpability in the land grab of Africa but also makes us reconsider where we get our fruit from.

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2:00 p.m.
Pegase
Morocco, 2010, directed by Mohamed Mouftakir
104min., Not Rated
Rihana is a pregnant young peasant woman who is a patient in a psychiatric ward who has suffered a traumatic experience. She hovers between two worlds, a fictive one constructed around fairytale stories that her father told her, and the world in which she is supposed to live. To reconcile with her one reality, the psychiatrist Zineb would like to assist her on this journey. Is she for real or just making up stories?