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Tales of Ordinary People
These two now classic shorts, Le Franc and La petite vendeuse de Soleil (The Little Girl who Sold the Sun) by the iconoclastic Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambety were originally intended as a trilogy under the title, Tales of Ordinary People. Mambety's untimely death in 1998 prevented the completion of…
Lucky
How could a recently orphaned, 10-year old homeless South African boy ever be called Lucky? Over the grave of his dead mother, Lucky makes a promise to make something of himself. Leaving the security of his remote Zulu village for the big city with the hope of going to school,…
Hyenas
Twenty years after his astonishing first film, Touki Bouki, Djibril Diop Mambety brings us a second feature, Hyenas, as provocative as his first. He adapts a timeless parable of human greed into a biting satire of today's Africa - betraying the hopes of independence for the false promises of Western…
100% Arabica
In a housing project located on the outskirts of Paris renamed "100% Arabica" by its inhabitants, African immigrants live side by side. In a world of exiles, poverty is the common denominator. Against this backdrop, director Zemmouri has brought together two of the biggest and most charismatic stars of the…
Pieces D'Identites (Pieces of Identity)
The fable of an old African king and his wayward daughter is updated to present day Brussels to make provocative points about racism, tradition, class struggle, cultural identity and corruption. More than a decade ago Mweze Ngangura delighted the cinema world with one of the most accessible and entertaining African…
Faat Kine
Part of the Series: The Library of African Cinema
In Faat Kine, Ousmane Sembene, the unquestioned father of African cinema, calls his fellow Africans to a reckoning of the post-independence era at the beginning of a new century. At 77, he sums up 40 years of path-breaking filmmaking with a penetrating analysis of the interplay of gender, economics and…
The Hero (O HEROI)
"Winner, best foreign feature, the 2005 Sundance Film Festival" The Hero (O Heroi) is the story of Angola, a nation torn apart by forty years of uninterrupted war, and now trying imperfectly but courageously to piece itself back together. It is also the story of a city, Luanda, like so…
Viva Laldjerie
Three women: a mother, her daughter and a prostitute have been living in a hotel in the heart of Algiers amid creeping fundamentalism. Goucem, the daughter, has chosen a modern, emancipated life, spending steamy weekends in nightclubs. Fifi, her faithful friend, prostitutes herself under the thumb of a local protector.…
Fintar O Destino (Dribbling Fate)
A feature film about soccer dreams weighs the pros and cons of pursuing ambitions abroad or acceptance of life on the isolated islands of Cape Verde. Fintar O Destino has the distinction of being the Library of African Cinema's first sports film - but a sports film with a decidedly…
Ca twiste a Poponguine (Rocking Poponguine)
Ca twiste a Poponguine is perhaps the most charming, fast-paced and accessible film in our Library of African Cinema collection. This bittersweet, coming of age story is a kind of African equivalent of George Lucas' American Graffiti, Spike Lee's Crooklyn or Godard's Masculin/Feminin. These Senegalese teenagers living it up on…
A Walk in the Night
Drawing references from Richard Wright's portrait of black rage in "Native Son" and Shakespeare's "Hamlet", this crime thriller set in Johannesburg recounts one night when a young Coloured man is driven to an act of brutality by a racist society. It is one of the first films from a new…
Thunderbolt
A story from the burgeoning video industry of Nigeria combines melodrama and issues of ethnicity, gender, culture and identity in post-colonial Africa. Thunderbolt will come as a bolt out of the blue to most Americans, even aficionados of African cinema. It is one of the best examples of the little-known…