African Film Festival

Event has passed (Wed Jan 23, 2013 - Tue Feb 5, 2013)
Film Festival, Movies
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The annual African Film Festival provides a striking opportunity to learn about Africa and the African diaspora through recent films. The concerns of African filmmakers are often aesthetic and political—the desire to depict the realities of their everyday lives and to interpret their history from their own perspective. A number of the featured documentaries look to the past to examine forces that continue to influence the present. Our Beloved Sudan traces the complex history leading to the partition of Sudan; The Unbroken Spirit focuses on the courageous fight for a multiparty democracy in Kenya; and the arc of Black Africa, White Marble moves from colonial-era to present-day Republic of Congo. All three take the vantage point of one individual in order to bring to life a larger history. Other documentaries observe life as it unfolds and portray collective experience: the poetic Broken Stones depicts Port-au-Prince, Haiti after the earthquake and Africa Shafted focuses on Johannesburg, South Africa as it absorbs immigrants from all over Africa. Microphone celebrates Egypt’s vibrant youth culture of hip-hop and graffiti art, while How to Steal 2 Million, a stylish noir, and a number of short films highlight the creative spirit of younger filmmakers. -- Kathy Geritz, Film Curator


Wednesday, January 23, 2013
7:00 p.m. Microphone
Ahmad Abdalla (Egypt, 2010). This kinetic, colorful modern-day city symphony follows a young Egyptian who discovers a vibrant underground culture of skateboarders, hip-hop musicians, and graffiti artists. “Highly radical in the context of contempo Egyptian and Arabic cinema” (Robert Koehler). With a magical short, The Journey of Stones (Seydou Cissé, Mali, 2012). (131 mins)

Sunday, January 27, 2013
3:00 p.m. Black Africa, White Marble
Clemente Bicocchi (U.S./Republic of Congo/Italy, 2011). The story, told with archival materials and animation, of Italian-born Pietro Savorgnan di Brazzà, who explored Central Africa beginning in the 1870s, erupts into the present. “A family story with operatic twists and turns” (New York Daily News). With the haunting short Tomo (Bakary Diallo, Mali, 2012). (93 mins)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
7:00 p.m. Monica Wangu Wamwere: The Unbroken Spirit
Jane Murago Munene (Kenya, 2011). Monica Wangu Wamwere, the mother of a detained human rights activist, and her unceasing search for justice in Kenya are movingly detailed in this spirited documentary portrait. With an animated short about a Nigerian asylum seeker, Lack of Evidence (Hayoun Kwon, France, 2011). (80 mins)

Saturday, February 2, 2013
8:20 p.m. How to Steal 2 Million
Charlie Vundla (South Africa, 2011). This stylish updating of the crime drama genre, set in the “jungle” of Johannesburg, tracks an ex-con suckered into one last heist, with inevitable results. “A slow-burn heist movie that resonates with strong performances and classic noir ambience” (Seattle Film Festival). (89 mins)

Sunday, February 3, 2013
2:30 p.m. Our Beloved Sudan
Taghreed Elsanhouri (Sudan, 2011). The complex history of Sudan, from its establishment in 1956 to its partition in 2011, is detailed through interviews, rare archival footage, and the personal experiences of one mixed-race family. “An eye-opening account of an issue that hasn’t received nearly enough international attention”(Rolling Stone). With short Farewell Exile (Lamia Alami, Morocco, 2011). (107 mins)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
7:00 p.m. Broken Stones
Guetty Felin (Haiti/France/U.S., 2012). Guetty Felin in person. Broken Stones observes everyday life as it resumes after the Haitian earthquake of 2010, amid the ruins of the once beautiful and grand cathedral, affectionately called Notre Dame de Port-au-Prince. Preceded by Africa Shafted: Under One Roof, a portrait of the residents of Johannesburg’s tallest building (Ingrid Martens, South Africa, 2011). (117 mins)


Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
2155 Center Street
Berkeley, CA
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  1. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
    2155 Center Street, Berkeley, CA