FILM AFRICA 2020 DOC SHORTS + Pre-Recorded Curator’s Intro
November 2 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
A selection documentary shorts exploring migration and exile, mental health and family histories, among other themes. With a pre-recorded intro from Film Africa programmer Katarina Hedrén.
BREAKFAST IN KISUMU (UK Premiere)
Dir. Rebecca Achieng Ajulu-Bushell
UK, Kenya, South Africa. 2019. 37 mins. English.
Shot across 16mm, VHS, DV, and Digital, Breakfast in Kisumu is a personal homage to the 20-year journey of renowned professor and political activist Rok Ajulu. Filmed across six countries between Europe and Africa, with a proxy-archival quality, it follows Rok’s account of his struggles as an exiled freedom fighter of the post-colonial, apartheid era. In conversation with his daughter, he tells of his numerous deportations, prison sentences, and academic career. As Rok recounts the collapse of the apartheid regime, Breakfast in Kisumu shows us a homecoming: his journey back to Africa for the transition of the African National Congress (ANC) from a liberation movement into a governing party, his marriage into the Sisulu Family, and the continental significance of 1994.
DAFA METTI (DIFFICULT)
Dir. Tal Amiran
UK. 2019. 14 mins. Wolof with English subtitles.
Dafa Metti casts a spotlight on undocumented Senegalese migrants who make a living by selling souvenirs under the famed Eiffel Tower. Life is difficult (dafa metti) as they not only support their loved ones with their meagre earnings but their livelihoods and safety are constantly threatened by Parisien police. Deportation is also a constant fear. But they are relentless. Dafa Metti is an unflinching look at a chequered migrant experience.
ETHEREALITY (UK Premiere)
Dir. Kantarama Gahigiri
Switzerland, Rwanda. 2019. 14 mins. English with English subtitles
This is a reflective, poetic and emotionally engaging documentary about migration and the layered concept of ‘home’ for immigrants.
FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK (EUROPEAN PREMIERE)
Dirs. Shuria Abdi, Azza Satti
Kenya. 2020. 13 mins. English with English subtitles.
Footsteps in the Dark is a poignant, live-action and animated documentary that follows two young people of Somali descent that discuss their experiences of mental health and stigma within the Nairobi Muslim community.
MBAS MI (UK PREMIERE)
Dir. Joseph Gaï Ramaka
Senegal. 2020. 8 mins. Wolof with English subtitles.
In a time of physical distancing, artistic expression becomes an ever so important manifestation of our shared humanity. Mbas Mi (‘the pandemic’, in Wolof) takes the viewer on a walk through the narrow streets of Gorée Island, guided by the voice of Senegalese artist Goo Mamadou Ba, narrating an extract from The Plague by Albert Camus.
OJUMO TI MO
Dir. Simisolaoluwa Akande
UK, Czech Republic. 2019. 16 mins. English, Yoruba with English subtitles.
Ojumo Ti Mo is an inventive, gentle and personal documentary short that follows the experience of three daughters and their mother dealing with the loss of their father and husband, respectively, on camera. With phone conversations, text messages and family photos exchanged over three months, each family member unpacks their grief.
O TAMBOR ME CHAMOU (THE CALL OF THE DRUMS) (EUROPEAN PREMIERE)
Dir. Márcio Cruz
Brazil. 2019. 16 mins. Brazilian Portuguese with English subtitles.
On the eve of the Carnival Parade, ‘O Tambor Me Chamou’ introduces us to Ilú Obá de Min, an Afro-Brazilian Feminist group that energized and uplifted the 2019 São Paulo carnival – their most political parade to date. The 400-women strong group breaks with carnival’s traditional roles by playing the drums, the preserved domain of men. Music and dance, woman’s body and drum, all unite with the 7 voices and still images into a poetic portrayal, through the interaction between memory, bodies, and Afro-Brazilian percussion instruments. Demonstrating that the history of Afro-Brazilian women is one of resistance, creation and celebration, the film is a compelling vision of an inspiring ‘insurrection’, in the words of Ilú Obá, where ideas and movement are a very special call to arms.
RIVER OF BROWN WATERS (UK Premiere)
Dir. Laissa Malih
Kenya. 2020. 15 mins. Maasai, Swahili with English subtitles.
River of Brown Waters is the story of a river called Ewaso Ng’iro in Northern Kenya that crosscuts through the pastoralist counties of Laikipia, Samburu, Isiolo and Marsabit. It is a lifeline to a huge number of pastoralists and their livelihood. The documentary follows the river’s evolution through the eyes of generations who tell of its history, its importance and the threats it is facing.
Dir. Sally Feneaux Barleycorn
Spain. 2019. 6 mins. Catalan and English with English subtitles
This moving documentary short gives an account of thousands of Africans that have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to migrate to Europe. Their bodies were never retrieved. They were never buried.
VILLA VILLEKULLA (UK PREMIERE)
Dir. Patricia Bbaale Bandak
Denmark. 2019. 29 mins. Danish, Luganda, English with English subtitles.
In “Villa Villekulla”, we follow the Bbaale siblings, as they mix Danish traditions for meals and games, with Ugandan prayers, dances and songs. Playful moments alternate with painful intimate conversations between them, as they open up about their own experiences of dealing with trauma, pain, and the lack of adult supervision.