November 5, 2010

Films that crossed over

We take a look at the  films that were relevant to Africa and that made it to the screens at the 2010  London film festival; here we go>>

AFRICA UNITED

The extraordinary story of three Rwandan kids who walk 3000 miles to the Soccer World Cup in South Africa. Using a sack load of ingenuity and sass (and a World Cup wall chart for a map), our pint-sized protagonists set off through the endless horizons of Africa in pursuit of an unlikely dream. And as they walk they gather a tribe – a ragamuffin team – of broken and brilliant characters who help them negotiate a way through a series of glorious, dangerous, hilarious and often bizarre situations. Through these kids, we will encounter an Africa few people ever get to see; experience the hard reality of an epic walk through seven countries; as well as the joy, laughter and hope – ‘the ubuntu’ – that comes from making an incredible journey together.

Director: Debs Gardner-Paterson

LIFE, ABOVE ALL

A moving story thats takes in the AIDs pandemic and the stigma told from a mother-daughter relationship.

Directed by Oliver Schmitz

PUMZI

Nature is extinct. The outside is dead. Asha lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council. When she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants an old seed in it and the seed starts to germinate instantly. Asha appeals to the Council to grant her permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside but the Council denies her exit visa. Asha breaks out of the inside community to go into the dead and derelict outside to plant the growing seedling and possibly find life on the outside.

Directed by Wanuri Kahiu

RELENTLESS

A haunting story about loneliness, love and self-discovery that explores Africaís throbbing megacity Lagos, and the effects of war and loss.  more info..

SHUNGU: The resilience of a people

a compelling narrative of the strategies ordinary people use to survive in Zimbabwe today. Lyrically photographed, the filmmaker takes us on a personal journey offering a rare, intimate insight as the country experiences political turmoil, economic meltdown and health care collapse. We are drawn into the lives of a 30-something metalsmith and opposition supporter running his small business while facing political violence, a middle-aged widow who is a staunch government supporter trying to run a farm she took over from a white farmer, a doctor working amid health care collapse while trying to maintain her middle-class lifestyle. Interwoven throughout is the tumultuous political power struggle and eventual reconciliation between President Robert Mugabe, and his nemesis opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The film gives voice to the hopes and challenges of ordinary people, revealing life under one of Africa’s last “strongmen,” as Zimbabwe undergoes profound change.

Director Saki Mafundikwa


LET EACH ONE GO WHERE HE MAY

the film traces the extensive journey of two unidentified brothers who venture from the outskirts of Paramaribo, Suriname, on land and through rapids, past a Maroon village on the Upper Suriname River, tracing the voyage undertaken by their ancestors, who escaped from slavery at the hands of the Dutch 300 years prior. Shot almost entirely with a 16mm Steadicam rig in thirteen extended tracking shots

Director Ben Russell

FIRE IN BABYLON

‘Fire in Babylon’ boasts dynamic archive, classic music by the likes of Bob Marley and the Wailers, Gregory Issacs and Burning Spear, and is a story that celebrates the emancipation of a people through the sport of cricket.

Director:  Stevan Riley

A SCREAMING MAN

Adam, a 60-something former swimming champion, is a pool attendant at a hotel in Chad. When the hotel gets taken over by new Chinese owners, he is forced to give up his job to his son, Abdel, leaving Adam humiliated and resentful. Meanwhile the country is in the throes of civil war. Rebel forces attack the government while the authorities demand the population to contribute to the “war effort,” with money or volunteers old enough to fight. The District Chief constantly harasses Adam for his contribution. But Adam is penniless; he only has his son. In a moment of weakness, Adam makes a decision that he will forever regret.

Director: Mahamat-Saleh

BENDA BILILI!

Summer 2009. Five paraplegics and a young able-bodied teenager light up the stage in front of an entranced audience of 8000 people. “Benda Bilili” – in English “See Beyond”, is the name of this Kinshasa band which has acquired a global following. Chances of success were slim at first for these homeless handicapped artists who struggled to survive on the streets of their dilapidated capital. “Benda Bilili” is not a music film, it’s the story of a dream that became reality. And a plunge into the streets of Kinshasa without a safety net.

Directed by Renaud Barret, Florent de La Tullaye

Jothee (96 Posts)

Born in Kenya and studied at the College of Arts in Namibia. As a filmmaker and photographer, he worked on several documentaries for social institutions and NGOs. He also works as a lecturer for various media initiatives.