Tales of Ordinary People

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2 videos in this playlist

Le Franc
In the first film, LE FRANC, Mambety uses the French government's 50% devaluation of the West African Franc (CFA) in 1994, and the resulting hardships as the basis for a…
La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil (The Little Girl who Sold the Sun) 
In LA PETITE VENDEUSE DE SOLEIL (The Little Girl who Sold the Sun), Mambety brings us the feisty Sili Lam, a twelve year old paraplegic who becomes the first girl…

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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…
Tableau Ferraille
The story of an idealistic young politician's rise and fall in a small town, TABLEAU FERRAILLE ("scrap heap") paints a picture of a corrupt post-colonial elite. TABLEAU FERRAILLE offers an intimate view of how modernization, at least as practiced in today's Africa, corrodes traditional communities and retards grassroots development. Like…
Zan Boko (Homeland)
This story of a village family caught up in the transformation of an agrarian, subsistence economy into an industrialized commodity economy. Gaston Kabore's film ZAN BOKO explores the conflict between tradition and modernity, a central theme in many contemporary African films, such as Keita and Ta Dona. It tells the…
Black Gold - A Look at Coffee Production Around the World
Part of the Series: Globalization
This film traces the tangled trail from the two billion cups of coffee consumed each day back to the coffee farmers who produce the beans. In particular, It follows Tadesse Meskela as he tries to get a living wage for the 70,000 Ethiopian coffee farmers he represents. In the process…
A Son of Africa - The Autobiography of a Slave
"The Interesting Narration of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African" was the first influential slave autobiography. It caused a sensation when published in 1789, fueling a growing anti-slavery movement in the U.S. and England. This BBC production employs dramatic reconstruction, archival material and interviews with scholars…
Mortu Nega (Those Whom Death Refused)
A fictional account of the closing months of the war against the Portuguese and the consolidation of the independent West African nation of Guinea-Bissau both reflecting and critiquing the revolutionary process. Mortu Nega, as its title implies, is a unique kind of elegy -- not so much to the victims…
Sango Malo (the Village Teacher)
A story about a village teacher who introduces education for local self-development explores the relationships between progressive activists, entrenched social interests, traditional belief system and rural Africans. SANGO MALO offers American viewers an intimate and engaging portrait of the complex social dynamic underlying economic and political change in a typical…
Sabriya
Part of the Series: Africa Dreaming
This film explores the impact of the modern world on the traditional male society of the Maghreb. It is a film about men who prefer to live life as an abstract game and the free-spirited woman who changes everything. Said and Youssef have fulfilled a life-long dream by opening a…
So Be It
Part of the Series: Africa Dreaming
Based on a play by Wole Soyinka, The Strong Breed, SO BE IT offers an emotionally searing allegory of present-day Africa's bloody internecine convulsions. Michael, an idealistic foreign doctor (Martinican star Alex Descas), has had little success bringing the promises of modernity to a dusty village of the damned in…
Let there Be Peace - Daresalam
The first African feature film to focus on the civil wars convulsing the continent from Sierra Leone to Somalia. It provides compelling insights into how ordinary people around the world get swept up in extraordinary events. Its timeless story of two childhood friends turned into political foes personalizes the terrible…
And So Angels Die - Ainsi Meurent Les Anges
Moussa Sene Absa's latest work pushes the formal boundaries of African cinema to explore the complex interplay of history and psychology in contemporary Africa. Intensely personal and at the same time deeply political, Ainsi meurent les anges combines the elegiac lyricism of his Ca twiste a Poponguine with the acerbic…
Wend Kuuni (God's Gift)
WEND KUUNI is a landmark in African filmmakers' attempts to "return to the sources" of their culture, to recover a "usable" African past to solve the problems of the African present. Filmmaker Gaston Kabore adapts the measured rhythms of traditional African storytelling to create an authentically African cinematic language. He…