The purpose of the African Women in Cinema Blog is to provide a space to discuss diverse topics relating to African women in cinema--filmmakers, actors, producers, and all film professionals. The blog is a public forum of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

Le Blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma est un espace pour l'échange d'informations concernant les réalisatrices, comédiennes, productrices, critiques et toutes professionnelles dans ce domaine. Ceci sert de forum public du Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinémas.

07 December 2010

Sara Gubara: Her Father’s Eyes

Sara Gubara’s extraordinary story of perseverance and resolve begins early as a young child. The daughter-father triumph over many obstacles and challenges spans the lifetime of Gadalla Gubara who died in 2008, and continues today as Sara carries the torch of his dreams. At three years old, young Sara was stricken with polio, the family facing the bleak diagnosis that nothing could be done. Gadalla does not accept this fate, devoting himself to his daughter’s recovery. She was encouraged to swim and at twelve years old competes internationally. Moved by Sara’s incredible accomplishment, Gadalla made the documentary Viva Sara, which would later inspire the fiction film Sarahsarà (1994) by Renzo Martinelli.

Aljazeera.net
Sara Gubara journeyed into cinema through her father’s footsteps and as a team they directed more than 40 films. The pioneer of Sudanese cinema, Gadalla Gubara created his own company, Gad Studios, after managing the mobile cinema of the Sudanese Ministry of Information. Through his indefatigable efforts, single handedly he forged a Sudanese cinema infrastructure, producing some 300 documentaries. However, in 1998, Gadalla’s sudden blindness thrust Sara into the forefront. At her father’s side, she became his eyes: “On the film, I work as his eyes. Sometimes we argue about some things but still, we cooperate well together.”

Sara’s film The Lover of Light (2004) is both a metaphor of Gadalla Gubara and of his interest in bringing social issues to light through filmmaking. Taking the torch of her father, Sara is determined to keep filmmaking alive in Sudan: “I love cinema and because of my father—I think he is a brave man to own a studio in Sudan—I don’t want this to die.”

Their last work, Les Miserables, a Sudanese adaptation of the Victor Hugo classic, produced in 2004, is a tribute to the enormous struggle of the Sudanese people against injustice and poverty. The film is about a desperately poor man who commits a minor theft and is punished without compassion: “I brought my daughter, she read the scenario to me, she understood the scenes and she became the director of the film “Les Miserables”. I consider my daughter a part of me, she understands me very much."


Aljazeera: The Home Song Stories (The Gubaras are featured at 7:55)

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