|Image: New York African Film Festival|
African/African Diaspora Women's Stories
at the New York African Film Festival 2015
Yaba Badoe, Ghana
The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo, 2014, 78min.
The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo explores the artistic contribution of one of Africa’s foremost women writers. Director Badoe charts Aidoo’s creative journey over seven decades, from colonial Ghana, through the tumultuous era of independence, to a more sober present day Africa.
Carey McKenzie, South Africa
Cold Harbour, 2014, 73min.
While investigating a smugglers’ turf war in Cape Town, township cop Sizwe stumbles upon police corruption. His boss and mentor, Venske, gives Sizwe the case but assigns a rookie, Legama, to keep an eye on him. After Sizwe discovers that a homicide is linked to Triad (Chinese mafia) through abalone smuggling, a tip from a former comrade leads to a major bust. Despite the seized contraband being stolen within hours, Sizwe is still promoted to detective. It’s a bitter triumph though—he’s being played, and he knows it. In a world where self-interest and corruption have overtaken loyalty and honor, Sizwe is left with no one to trust and integrity demands that he take the law into his own hands.
Ngardy Conteh George & Allan Tong
Flying Stars, Canada, 2014, 50min.
During Sierra Leone’s civil war, rebels amputated countless limbs. Most of the victims are orphans and outcasts in a society that has yet to face its past. For some of them, only the amputee soccer league offers a chance at a better life.
Jenna Bass, South Africa
Love The One You Love, 2014, 105min.
Across the city of Cape Town, a sex-line operator, a dog handler, and an IT technician begin to suspect that their romantic relationships are the subject of a bizarre conspiracy, involving their friends, family, and possibly even greater forces. Love the One You Love’s parallel stories question the ideals we hold too sacred: love, happiness, and the New South Africa.
Safi Faye, Senegal
Mossane, 1996, 105min.
Mossane (Magou Seck), a beautiful 14-year-old girl from a rural Senegalese village, is the object of affection to many, including Fara, a poor university student—and even her own brother, Ngor. Although she has long been promised as a bride to the wealthy Diogaye, Mossane falls in love with Fara and on her wedding day, she defies her parents’ wishes and refuses to go through with it.
Tala Hadid, Morocco/France/UK
The Narrow Frame of Midnight, 2014, 93min.
Aïcha, a young orphan, is found alone in the forests of central Morocco, after being taken from her home and sold to a petty criminal. Soon after escaping, she crosses paths with Zacaria, a Moroccan/Iraqi writer, who has left everything behind—including a passionate relationship with a teacher, Judith—to search for his missing brother. The trio’s intersecting journeys lead audiences across Morocco, to Istanbul, the plains of Kurdistan, and beyond.
Rokhaya Diallo, France
Networks of Hate, 2014, 52min.
Key areas of expression, today’s social and internet networks have become an outlet through which the most racist, homophobic, and sexist ideas are expressed.
Celine Gilbert, Tanzania
Surrender, 2000, 30min.
In the tranquil setting of a small fishing community in the East Coast of Zanzibar, a fire is raging in the hearts of three young individuals and the entire community feels the heat. Surrender is a story about Amri, a man trapped between the traditional role of the family man his father expects him to fulfill, and his personal desire for Mashua, a local fisherman.
Eliciana Nascimento, Brazil
The Summer of Gods, 2014, 20min.
A young girl named Lili connects with her Afro-Brazilian religious heritage on a summer visit with family to their ancestral village in rural Brazil. During her stay, she encounters orishas (African gods) who help her find peace with a gift that had previously vexed her.
Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana/USA,
Bus Nut, 2014, 7min.
Bus Nut rearticulates the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, a political and social protest against U.S. racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama, and its relationship to an educational video on school-bus safety. Actress MaameYaa Boafo restages a vintage video while reciting press-conference audio of Rosa Parks on a re-created set in New York City.
Monique Mbeka Phoba, Belgium/Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Sister Oyo (Soeur Oyo), 2014, 24min.
Set in the Belgian Congo in the 1950s, Sister Oyo tells the story of Godelive, a schoolgirl at the Catholic boarding school Mbanza-Mboma, the premier French-language school for Congolese girls. She is to be westernized, following the will of her parents, but the memory of her grandmother intervenes…
Muzna Almusafer, United Arab Emirates/France
Cholo, 2014, 21min.
The dark-skinned 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned younger stepbrother Abdullah for the first time. Although strikingly different, the two boys enjoy a crackling chemistry.
Libby Dougherty, South Africa
Panic Button, 2014, 25min.
From the moment that Tshepo, a security guard, breaks through Jenny’s multi-locked door to save her, she feels as if she’s been swept off her feet. But as Jenny imagines herself falling in love with him, an unhealthy, delusional obsession begins to take shape.
Eka Christa Assam, Cameroon
Beleh, 2013, 26min.
Set in a small village at the foot of Mount Fako in Cameroon, Beleh examines the relationship between Ekema and his heavily pregnant wife, Joffi. The difficulty she faces in her first pregnancy is made worse by the petulant and selfish demands of her irate and uncompromising husband. Things come to a head when one morning, the situation mysteriously changes in the village and there’s a total role reversal between the sexes. Ekema (who’s the only one who seems to be aware of the change) gets to experience a day as a pregnant man and his experiences throw a whole new light on his view of Joffi’s feelings.
Lovinsa Kavuma, Zanzibar / Tanzania
Curse of an Addict, 2013, 25min.
In Zanzibar, Seif, a 28-year-old heroin addict believes he is cursed. In a battle to be free from a life where he contracted HIV, Seif seeks help from a Shiek. In a spiritual exorcism, the curse from his past is conjured up. Having confronted his demons, only time will tell whether Seif can lead a clean life as a true Muslim.
Ekwa Msangi, Kenya/USA
Soko Sonko, 2014, 22min.
When her mom gets sick, Kibibi’s dad must take her to the market to get her hair braided before school begins. Soko Sonko is a hilarious, fish-out-of-water roller-coaster of a journey, about a well-intended dad who goes where no man has gone before… because only women have been there.
Kaouther Ben Hania, Tunisia/France
Wooden Hands, 2013, 23min.
Five-year-old Amira lives with her mother in a small apartment in Tunis. On the day that she’s supposed to return to the Koranic school, Amira was dearly wishing to enjoy the few remaining hours of her holiday. She managed to find nothing better to do than to attach her hand to the chair with super glue…