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.


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31 July 2010

Pascale Obolo: The Visible Woman ("La Femme invisible/The Invisible Woman" - Trans-Europe-Afrique 32nd Festival International de Films de Femmes 2010)


Pascale Obolo reflects on her personal experience of invisibility in French society by invoking the American film and TV episode “The Invisible Man”, whose character transforms himself at will. However, the feelings that she describes in her film, The Invisible Woman, may be likened to the American novel, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, an African American. The story is narrated by an unnamed black man who contemplates on his social invisibility in a dominant white society. Or perhaps Pascale Obolo’s sense of invisibility may conjure up Black Skin White Masks by the Martinican Frantz Fanon, as she feels the weight of otherness when living outside of her own world

The film was
presented at the 32nd International Women’s Film Festival, the 2 to 11 April 2010.

Interview by Festimage with Pascale Obolo discussing her film "La Femme invisible/The Invisible Woman" (2008) with actor Dalande Gomis presented at the 32nd International Women’s Film Festival, 2 to 11 April 2010.
05:31 – 11:28

Translation from French by Beti Ellerson

Her short film reveals her engagement as a woman in a modern society.

Pascale is a filmmaker who does not leave one indifferent.

She has come to our studio with her actor Dalande Gomis.

Pascale Obolo:
I wanted to do an artistic piece

and tie it to the issue of the representation of women 

in society in general, and the idea of the film began from there.

I did it as a kind of experimental cinema.

It is a visual philosophical story

It is a work based on framing and the superimposed image.

At the beginning the film the image is framed in a manner that does not allow one to see the woman’s face.

In the first scene, she is about to use the telephone.

There are three superimposed images.

Initially, she is in the telephone booth

and then, the trees from the other side appear superimposed on the glass of the telephone booth

and from behind, the building becomes visible and the protagonist is in the middle.

One after the other, all of the images are superimposed on each other.

Hence, she is already lost in the landscape, lost in the frame, and the film begins in this manner.

Next, there is a shot of her feet as she moves in space

showing her invisibility in French society.

I think that for an actor what is important is to bring out an emotion

and the emotion is not defined by race. Emotion is something that touches our heart.

And when you come to a casting call, you must be given the chance to express yourself

to be able to bring out these things—sadness, joy…

As a director, I think that the most important thing is that an actor reveals emotion.

that the audience is touched, and that is why we enter into the film.

Dalande Gomis:

Precisely, that is what I live as an actor who comes from a minority ethnicity—we have to really look for roles.

Even during a casting call we are told right away “you do not match this role”.

It hurts, but we live with it.

Thank goodness I have known Pascale for a longtime, and as soon as she has a project

I am part of it, especially this one, which concerns me directly.

Pascale Obolo:

When there is a feature or short film that is meant to represent French society

as it actually is, with a population that has evolved, that has changed a great deal

and which is enriched by its immigration history, there is hesitation.

It is for this reason that I have set the year 2055 to arrive at this goal.

To move things,

I think that things move too slowly.

And yet, France has a history with Africa that dates back to the slave trade era.

And when we see what is happening in French society in 2010, we notice a real problem.

There have been several films with a black president

as if the films had anticipated the election in 2009 of a black president of the most powerful country in the world.

That is the force of cinema, the power to project forward.

There is opposition to a quota system in cinema because people say

it is not needed

that French society is not racist

and a quota system is not necessary.

Why then aren’t there more films

where there is a mixture of black and white actors

who act together in important roles without clichés such as the immigrant neighborhoods, the dealers, and housekeepers.

The Invisible Woman (voiceover from film excerpt)

I am an invisible woman

I am from a visible minority

I remember the American television series called “The Invisible Man”.

I liked this series a lot because I could transform myself into any human being

taking the place of another

How wonderful it was!

I was far from imagining that I would find myself invisible in Western society.

What was a dream when I was a child became a nightmare as an adult.



29 July 2010

Sophie Kaboré’s Quest: Exploring African homosexualities

Image of Sophie Kaboré from
Sophie Kaboré's Quest: Exploring African homosexualities

The 20 May 2010 post focused on the use of vlogging and video-sharing by African women in cinema in order to promote themselves and make their work more visible. Sophie Kaboré, an aspiring filmmaker from Burkina Faso, has made an appeal to viewers directly on YouTube and DailyMotion to assist her in the completion of a longer version of her film, Abdou’s Return (Zi-Yaabo). Her description on the video-sharing sites is as follows:

The film is about Abdou, the oldest son of a well-respected businessman, who, after a long stay abroad returns home. He has lived other experiences that brought about a psychological and sexual transformation. It is about a transvestite who returns to his social and cultural milieu, a milieu that is horrified by this practice. This is a 5-minute film in search of a producer for a larger production. For more information contact: Sophie G. Kabore, +22670356079, email:

Uploaded on DailyMotion and Itidiani’s Channel on YouTube, both created in December 2009 for the promotion of the film, it has received 1775 hits to date, with several comments of encouragement and suggestions. Below are the French to English translation of the short film Zi-Yaabo, the YouTube comments, and the interview by Souleymane Sawadogo for the journal Sidwaya.

Zi-Yaabo (2009) by Sophie Kaboré

Translation of Zi-Yaabo from French to English by Beti Ellerson

"You did not come by the house last night…"
"I did not have time…"
"Did you hear the car?"
"It’s Abdou, I am sure of it."
"Mom, Abdou is here!"
"Where is Abdou?"
"What's with this disguise?"
"What a welcome? Aren’t you happy to see me?"
"But yes!"
"Thank you!"
"My baggage is in the trunk over there."
"I am happy to see you mother, how are you?"
"Is this a joke, what has become of you my son?"
"Listen mother, the flight was very long, I am very tired, this is neither the time nor place for criticism! I will see you later. I am very tired!"
"Abdou, could you do me a favor and take off those earrings, those bracelets and the whole caboodle that you are wearing! Do you understand? Your father is the imam of this neighborhood? He will kill you rather than let you dishonor us all."
"You have done your duty as mother to bring me into the world and I will accept the rest. If you do not want to see me as I am then tell me. Since I arrived, there has been nothing but criticism. Abdou this, Abdou that, I am sick of it!"
"I am sick of it, leave me alone. Maybe it is better if I go back."
"Abdou! Abdou!"
"That’s enough mom, that’s enough!"
"Abdou! Abdou!"
"Welcome, hello father."
"Hello my daughter. Has Abdou arrived?"
"Yes he has."
"Oh, he has. Could you bring me some water please?"
"Hello dad."
"Is that you?"
"Yes dad."
"It’s you Abdou!"
"Yes dad."
"Get him out of here, right now!"
"Make him disappear!"
"Get him out of here, right now!"

French to English translation by Beti Ellerson of comments from YouTube:

1. I think that it would have been more instructive to present an “ordinary” gay couple coming home. The son could have introduced his companion to his father, the Imam. The latter’s reaction—the violent and stupid rejection—would have been the same as in the film, but with a greater acceptance and reaction from the heterosexual public, which is the purpose of the video. However, this does not at all diminish the courage of the filmmaker.

2. I think that there is a great risk in presenting the gay world with images of the “drag queen” as is presented in the video. I think the drag queen is very unhappy because of the prevalence of homophobia, and only represents a very small percentage of the LGBT community. And I think that this representation risks being counterproductive by increasing the rejection by the hetero-normative society, gays and lesbians, bi-sexuals or transgendered persons, effeminates or not.

3. The subject is not easy, but it deserves to be addressed. But this would require a bit more finesse in the treatment. Good luck, because I see that the path is strewn with pitfalls.

Interview by Souleymane Sawadogo for Sidwaya translated from French to English by Beti Ellerson (Link no longer available)

Ms Sophie Kaboré is an aspiring filmmaker. For several years she has worked on the production of a short film. Her film, Abdou’s Return (or Zi-yaabo) of which a first version is on YouTube, treats the subject of homosexuality in Burkina Faso. She reveals to the journal, Sidwaya the difficulties that she encountered and the reasons that led her to broach this theme.

Sidwaya (S): Your film speaks of homosexuality. What is the plot?

Sophie G. Kaboré (S.G.K.): I was looking for a relevant and topical subject for a short film. I have often signed production contracts but nothing followed. Before taking on this project, I knew nothing about homosexuality. I had also thought about portraying a character using comedy. However, I was not aware that this could cause problems.

But I made this choice because up until then I had heard that African filmmakers had to rely on funding. I am not challenging this but I feel that each filmmaker must be free to choose. The film is about the return of the oldest son of a well-respected businessman, after a long stay abroad. During his stay he lived other experiences, which brought about a psychological and sexual transformation. So, it is about a transvestite who returns to his native town, an environment that condemns such practices.

S. What did you want to bring out by treating the subject of homosexuality?

S.G.K.: This idea came to me because I have gay friends. Before I met them, to be honest, I never thought about it, personally. Since knowing them I noticed that they are different, sensitive, and very special. It is for them that I embarked on my film.

S. Is it to make a plea for their cause and to stand up for them?

S.G.K: To make a plea for their cause is perhaps a bit much, since I do not know anything about homosexuality. But I have good friends, extraordinary friends. And these friendships led me to work on this project.

S.: You stated that you encountered problems during the production of the film. What kind of problems?

S.G.K.: I encountered problems both personally and professionally. In terms of professional problems, when I completed the 6-minute film, Abou’s Return, I submitted it to festivals. For instance, the coordinator of "Vues d’Afrique" suggested, after stating that it was very interesting, that it was too short for competition, and to make it longer.

I am now at this stage, and my main character, because of his commitment to the film, delayed his trip to the United States. I have submitted my dossier to institutions that were likely to finance it, and each time I was told that the subject is taboo in our society.

Therefore, the people and institutions that I contacted said that they were sorry but were not able to support me. A general manager was aggressive towards me, calling me a damned woman. I had advice from experienced filmmakers like Idrissa Ouédraogo who also explained to me that it was an uncomfortable subject. Some cinema professionals have gone so far as to nickname me “fag hag” and many have asked why I have hooked on to the theme of homosexuality.

S.: Has your private life suffered?

S.G.K.: When I needed to make the film longer I realized that it was not by reading literature that I would really become knowledgeable about the question of homosexuality. I had to spend time with gays, who were already my friends. From the beginning my boyfriend could not deal with it.

As time went by rumors started that I went out with women since I was always with gay men. If truth be told, I did not hide since they were just as much my friends as others. I was not ashamed, I am even less afraid to go out with them.

S.: How long have you been with your boyfriend?

S.G.K.: We have been together for nearly three years. It was the peddling of these rumors by friends who saw me in the company of gays that is the cause of our clash.

S. : Did not the change in your behavior contribute to the clash?

S.G.K. : Nothing has changed in our relationship. It is the work that I chose to do that is the explanation—I needed to do this research and spend time with homosexuals. I am nearly on the street. I have just left my boyfriend because of this.

S.: You have also said that your family has reacted.

S.G.K.: I went with a gay friend to the home of my sister, who is very religious. When she found out she couldn't deal with it. I have a lot of respect for gays, they are human beings like everybody else. For instance, one does not choose to be black or white; we just are and that’s all to it.

S: Perhaps those close to you fear that homosexuality is contagious?

S.G.K.: (Laughter) Of course not! I would not say that! I have friends who live in this milieu. I will not hide it…, I don’t know, myself. Someone is one person one day, and discovers he is another person later. Personally, I feel that it is a state of being as any other. There are those who are by birth and others who become gay.

S.: What is the possibility that you may sway towards homosexuality or perhaps you have already?

S.G.K.: (Laughter) Am I already? No. But one never knows, “never”. Up until the present I have never had a desire to go out with a woman.

S.: Inspite of your trials and after your film Abdou’s Return, you have persevered. Where are you now in your pursuit?

S.G.K.: In fact, I have assembled a production dossier for a documentary on homosexuality and I am looking for funding. The documentary will focus on homosexuals living with HIV/AIDS. In the case of all of these projects many people have tried to support me but at the last minute withdrew. I am not sure why. An international television station which I contacted felt that the subject was too delicate.

S.: At the rate that things are going do you think that you will be able to complete the film one day?

S.G.K.: I cannot be 100% sure, but I am staying optimistic. I am willing to fight to finish the film because it speaks about a subject that should get the same attention as any other film. But I am still looking for a producer. I hope to do a 52 to 60 minute film. I appeal to all who are willing to assist me in completing the film. While there are many who are reticent about dealing with the subject, as I stated before, gay people are like everybody else, and to make a film about homosexuality is not reprehensible. For certain requirements for the film I took a trip to Côte-d’Ivoire. A gay Ivoirian who is presently in Burkina even says that homosexuality is more developed here than there, only that it is not talked about. The majority of gays that I know are foreigners, whereas all of the lesbians are Burkinabè. As for me, I do not know when this phenomenon began in Burkina, but I know that it is increasing in magnitude. But far be it for me to promote it!

27 July 2010

Jacqueline Kalimunda’s Rwanda (Trans-Europe-Afrique 32nd Festival International de Films de Femmes 2010)

Image: Jacqueline Kalimunda BBC
My Rwanda by Jacqueline Kalimunda (Simba Notes)

The figures show a glimpse of the horror that hit Rwanda in 1994. One million people killed in one hundred days. One million people killed in a population of 8 million. Just because one part of the population feels Hutu and another one feels Tutsi.

I was born and lived my childhood and teenage years in Rwanda and the horror that Rwanda went through strikes me as much as the paradox of this situation.

Indeed anyone who has lived in Rwanda has tales of friendship and love between some members of the 2 communities as much as tales of hatred and segregation. So what happened for so many Rwandans to be transformed into killers ? One million dead… How many killers ? How many watchers ?

Furthermore as much as it seems so obvious to point out the Hutus from the Tutsis, if you ask anyone in Rwanda or elsewhere to show you who is Hutu, who is Tutsi, many, if not all, will confuse the too. Especially since everyone speaks the same language, has the same culture and live in the same areas. Identity cards – with ethnic groups marked on - were not always asked at the barriers where many were killed. So how did the killers manage to separate, isolate and massacre 10,000 people a day ? How did they know who was who ? By the length of the nose ?

On the other hand let’s not be naïve, it does seem that, although Rwandans are known to be rather calm people, they have always had to express any change in society or in politics by shedding blood : 1959, 1963, 1973, 1979, 1994. When I was preparing this film in Rwanda I looked for people who had personal viewpoints based on their own life’s experiences. People with different opinions, who were ready to confront with opposing arguments.

So welcome for a journey with strong minded companions, in a beautiful land of
violence, extreme beliefs and wicked politics… my homeland.

NOTE: The video begins with an interview with Jacqueline Kalimunda 0:00-4:18 and continues with Safi Faye (who was featured on this Vlog on 26 May 2010)


Festimage 32nd Festival International de Films de Femmes 2-11 April 2010
Interview with Jacqueline Kalimunda regarding her film "Homeland" (2005)

Translation from French to English by Beti Ellerson


Hello everyone and welcome to this third day of the

International Women’s Film Festival. The Festimage Team,

always on the scene of action, has brought together a program full of interesting people to meet.

On the green hills of Kigali, the storm threatens to strike while Rwanda recalls the genocide ten years before

During that time Jacqueline Kalimunda was twenty years old and had just lost her father.

Her very politically-committed film was screened Saturday with her in attendance, she joins us in our studio.

From film excerpt:

What is a serpent?

What is a serpent?

Jacqueline Kalimunda:

I am Jacqueline Kalimunda, filmmaker of the documentary Homeland.

I am Rwandan and I was born in Rwanda and spent

my childhood and adolescence there.

It was very important to give a voice to the people

who I know in Rwanda

At the same time speak about myself and what I know of Rwanda

of what my parents have taught me about the country and also

what I have learned in books and in the media.

What bothers me a bit is that most people who speak about

Rwanda have only discovered it as a result of the genocide

and their vision, as far as I am concerned,

lacks a certain depth

as it relates to the whole history of Rwanda before,

and the people who live there

and perhaps also, they don’t have the emotional attachment

that I have for the country.

I try to retain a lesson rather than the images,

and to be sensitive to the fact that when one begins to accept discrimination,

that certain people are put to the side

and others are given preference; and when one accepts

a murder here, a massacre there,

it can develop into something absolutely horrible.

The Shoa and the Rwandan genocide are both genocides

yet different

I think that European history before the Shoa

may have ties to what happened in Rwanda at the same period.

Undoubtedly I am now very sensitive to all forms of discrimination,

incomprehension and division in society.

I am aware of the possible consequences.

Even within a society such as Rwanda,

a country where everyone speaks the same language,

has the same culture.

Of course there are historical differences

and this is what I wanted to show through the film.



"Ma quête consistait à essayer de comprendre."/ "My quest is to try to understand." An interview with Jacqueline Kalimunda in French by Viviane Azariane (Africultures)

24 July 2010

Shirley Frimpong-Manso Makes Movies

Image: Wikipedia
Shirley Frimpong-Manso, filmmaker, producer, scriptwriter, CEO of Sparrow Productions has made several films that have been very popular with Ghanaian audiences and is a key player in the emerging Ghanaian popular movie phenomenon.

Her films, of which some clips are presented below, include, Live and Living it (2009), Scorned (2009), The Perfect Picture (2009), A Sting in a Tail (2009), Checkmate (2010)Six Hours to Christmas (2010), Peep (2011), Contract (2012), Adams Apples (2011-2013), Potomanto (2013), Big for Nothing (2013), Stranger in my Bed (2013), Tenant (2013), Devil in the Detail (2014), Love or Something Like That (2014), V-Republic (2014), Grey Dawn (2015), Rebecca (2016), and the TV series Shampaign (2016).

Since the publication of this post on 24 July 2010, a plethora of information on Shirley Frimpong-Manso has emerged, including a Wikipedia page.

More significantly, Joyce Osei Owusu devoted her thesis research to her work, titled, "Women and the Screen: a study of Shirley Frimpong-Manso's Life and Living It (2007) and Scorned (2008)", which was completed in 2009. During a 2011 interview with me she talked about the research and her doctoral work on Ghanaian women which followed.

The aim of her research was to understand how female filmmakers particularly Shirley Frimpong-Manso concretised her efforts to tell stories and present images of women shaped by values she highly endorsed. Joyce Osei Owusu also analysed how a group of female audiences read the female representations in her first two films: Life and Living It and Scorned.

During the interview Joyce Osei Owusu noted that "Shirley Frimpong-Manso promotes a sense of fashion that is hybrid when she presents in her movies authentic Ghanaian/African textiles like GTP Nuystyle and Woodin which have been designed into formal and informal wear, bags, hair accessories, rosettes, and hats. In a personal interview, she stated that this gesture is her way of supporting the idea that the traditional Ghanaian or African fabric is as good for funerals as it is for corporate board meetings." 

Shirley Frimpong Manso on her new feature film Rebecca and her latest TV series Shampaign

Shirley Frimpong-Manso talks about A Sting in a Tail

Checkmate by Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Sparrow Productions

The Perfect Picture by Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Sparrow Productions

Scorned by Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Sparrow Productions

Report by Beti Ellerson (updated 09 March 2018).

See Joyce Osei Owusu: Researching Ghanaian Women in Cinema, during which she discusses her research on Shirley Frimpong-Manso

23 July 2010

Focus on Osvalde Lewat-Hallade


Afrobuzz with
Osvalde Lewat-Hallade
Clip no longer available
Image: l'Invite
Capture Ecran | Screen Capture

English to French Translation of Afrobuzz “Tête-à-Tête” by Beti Ellerson

Presenter, Vanessa Mulanga: The Images of Black Women Festival in London is a tribute to black women in front of and behind the camera. An ideal place to meet talented women such as Osvalde Lewat, a film documentarist from Cameroon. Her themes are universal, such as the world of Amerindians or a story about one of the oldest political prisoners of Cameroon. If you do not yet know her, you may meet her on “Tête-à-Tête”.

My name is Osvalde Lewalt-Hallade, I am a filmmaker from Cameroon. I make documentaries. My last film, Une affaire de nègres, in English, Black Business, was released in 2009. Before, I made a film on the Amerindians of Canada. Also in Congo about women and war. And two films in Cameroon. My path is a bit ecletic as I focus on very different themes. Nonetheless, the themes converge as they focus on exclusion, injustice, the desire to change one’s circumstances.

I came to cinema because I felt a bit constrained in the area of journalism. As journalist one deals with subjects, that with hindsight, I found a bit superficial. And once the report is made it is somewhat out of date.  In cinema, one may deal with more important subjects, have one’s point of view on the subject, delve deeper into it, and that is what interested me.

It is always difficult to make a film, for a woman or a man. The problems can increase coming from Africa because there is no infrastructure to finance our films and thus the necessity to seek Western financiers. It is also difficult, when one has a family to take care of, to reconcile these elements. My male counterparts have less difficulty.

Nonetheless, today women have more opportunities, more doors are open, there have already been mechanisms set in place for women to work within her family life. I am happy to be able to be in this profession, especially as an African woman, as there are not very many, though the numbers are increasing. I realize that as we become more numerous this will provide the impetus for not only women, but also for African cinema as a whole.

Filmmakers whose films speak to me? I would say Ousmane Sembene, who is no longer with us. I would say Souleymane Cissé, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun; they are some of the filmmakers with whom I connect. There are others in the documentary genre such as Jean-Marie Teno, who has made very good films. And those who I have not named should not be jealous, I love all of your films.

I don’t think that this is a controversial film.  What should be controversial is not that I made a film about the Operational Command Unit, but rather that 10 years later there has not been real justice. What concerns me is not that people find the film controversial, but that there are those who think that the subject should not be broached. And that’s a pity. I think that we must confront our past in Africa, those parts that are glorious and good, but also those difficult moments.  In order to build one must look at one’s past and for me the film was about bringing to light a part of Cameroon’s history that was not well known.

I did not feel any pressure when making the film, as I did not talk about it and I made it rather discreetly. However, after the film was released the Cameroonian members of the crew did feel some pressure. I did receive some hostile telephone calls but nothing beyond that, so I feel fortunate.

There was no official censure of the film. When it was screened in Cameroon, those who wanted to see it were discouraged from doing so. And yes, it is a rather troubling film. It is unfortunate that Cameroonians are not allowed to see a film that speaks about them, their history. A film that is a mirror of their society at a certain moment.  It is not a film that gives a bad impression of Cameroon; that criticizes Peter, Paul, or John. It is a film that makes a statement about Cameroonian society.

It is not about winning a prize. I am trying to add my contribution to subjects that interest me. My next film will be shot in Israel, which is some distance from Africa, but it is a topic that touched me.

I am not sure if I would say there is such a thing as an “Osvalde style” perhaps there is an “Osvalde perspective” on things, on events, on people, I hope so.  Because it is this perspective that leads me to make the films that I do.

It is important to have a clear perspective on things. Also an optimistic outlook. Coming from Africa and aware of the difficulty to exist on the international scene, we must hang on, and continue to believe that the future has good things in store for us.

English Version of Synopsis of Une affaire de nègres from Africultures

March 20, 2000, a decree by the President of the Republic of Cameroon set up an Operational Command Unit to tackle rampant banditry in the Douala region. The Unit introduced what amounted to round-ups: one thousand and six hundred people in one year disappeared or were killed. One year after, nine young men disappeared. The matter was submitted to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The accused were found guilty of "failure to follow orders" and released but legal proceedings have not come to an end. The families of victims have to live between the desire for justice and the pressure for the crimes to be wiped forever from the collective memory.

Une affaire de nègres - Trailer (2009) Osvalde Lewat-Hallade

French to English Translation of Une affaire de nègres-Trailer by Beti Ellerson:

Osvalde Lewat-female voiceover: What was I doing on the 20th of February 2000? I don’t know. On that day, the head of state of Cameroon, my country, created a group of trained operatives which consisted of the army, the police, the gendarmerie and the fire department. Their mission was to tackle rampant banditry.

“Look at my little brother” (pointing to a picture)
“Like a dog”
“Like a dog”
“My child was killed like a dog”
“Bullets everywhere”

Male voiceover: We began to find bodies, scattered throughout the city, we lamented all of the people that were reported dead or missing.

Osvalde Lewat-female voiceover: The operative remained active for a year.

 “The police in Cameroon has as its fundamental mission, to terrorize the people.”

Question- Osvalde Lewat-female voice: “Were you among those who were shooting”

 “I was in the section where shots were fired.”

Osvalde Lewat-female voiceover: One morning, Charles will see his own son shot before his eyes.

 “But when you kill someone, you experience a certain delight.”

 “If he was killed it must be stated openly.”

Osvalde Lewat -female voiceover: Today in Cameroon, no one wants me to remind them that the Operational Command Unit was sanctioned by the population.

 “Do not be afraid” “Shoot the people as I have order.” “And we shot them.”

Osvalde Lewat-female voiceover: No one wants to be reminded of the Green Number which allowed anyone to call free of charge—to denounce, accuse, their neighbor, brother, sister.

Male voiceover: Everyone who was part of the Operational Command Unit has left a scar on this location.


21 July 2010

Lupita Nyong'o : actress in the Kenyan series "Shuga" and director of "In My Genes"

Lupita Nyong'o : actress in the Kenyan series "Shuga"director of "In My Genes" and

Award winning actress Lupita Nyong'o's first work as director and producer In My Genes, is a documentary about the experiences of people with albinism in Kenya. Made in 2009, the film was her thesis project at Hampshire College in the USA where she received a B.A. in film.

What is it like to be 'white' in a 'black' society? In My Genes shares the lives of 8 people with albinism in Kenya. It reveals the uplifting life story of Agnes, a woman with albinism of few means who heads a household of 7 children, her 17-year-old daughter expecting another. During the course of the documentary, Agnes discovers she has skin cancer and finds out the real reason why she lost both of her eyes. Yet Agnes keeps going, trusting in the work of her hands and the strength of her God. The threads of the woolen baskets she weaves blindly hold her family together as she tells us her story.

Interviews with seven other individuals inter-cut Agnes' narrative to share their unique experiences of living with albinism. They ponder on questions about the effects of their condition on aspects of their childhood, adolescence, sexuality, race, and dreams.

In My Genes presents an intimate introduction to albinism, and asks us to consider how it feels to be a member of one of the most hyper-visible and yet invisible groups of people in a predominantly black society. It is a film on disability, minority discrimination, identity, issues of representation, confidence and perception of the other.

Source: Third World Newsreel:


Shuga (Trailer) with Lupita Nyong'o - MTV Staying Alive - EngageMedia

GLOBAL: MTV drama brings cool to HIV prevention
Source: IRIN Reuters / AlertNet

VIENNA, 21 July 2010 (IRIN) - It's a story of sexy young guys and girls having a good time in the big city, of friendships pushed to the edge, and families struggling to survive, but underneath all the drama, MTV's "Shuga" is a story about HIV.

"My character, Ayira, is young, attractive and very ambitious. When her father left it changed her economic status, and she'll do anything to get back up there," Lupita Nyong'o, who plays one of the main characters, told IRIN/PlusNews. Ayira cheats on her boyfriend with an older man at her workplace, who convinces her to have sex without a condom. He turns out to be HIV-positive.



20 July 2010

Fanta Nacro: Florence Barrigha, le temps d'une rencontre (The Nana Benz of West Africa)

The Nana Benz of West Africa - Fanta Nacro’s Florence Barrigha, le temps d’une rencontre 

Fanta Nacro’s Florence Barrigha, le temps d’une rencontre (1999), is among three documentaries in the series "Reflets-Sud" presented by Wendy Bashi, that focus on West Africa printed fabric.

Synopsis of film translated from French by Beti Ellerson. The film is subtitled and spoken in French.
Florence Barrigha, Le temps d'une rencontre. At the time of independence in West Africa, several women had a taste for business. They had their fabric printed in the West and then sold it in Togo. These women called themselves NANA BENZ. Nana Benz, because they could afford to buy a Mercedes-Benz. In a word, the phrase Nana Benz symbolizes the freedom, pride, achievement and courage of women. This film highlights the story of one of the last seven Nana Benz of Togo: Florence Barrigha. She has a fascinating story, her experiences are very unique and original because for the first time, a woman became a Nana Benz not by inheritance, but by ingenuity and subtlety. In less than four years, she was able to penetrate the extremely closed world of the Nana Benz. She chose to work in a profession that today is undergoing a major crisis. Florence is one of the women who because of certain events, had to reinvent her life and the conditions to continue forward without giving up.

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