This South African movie tracks the rise of a once-petty criminal to the heights of the criminal underworld. After cutting his teeth on hijacking, before moving onto bigger game, an ambitious man hits a setback when most of his gang are shot. He moves to Hillbrow, trying to stay legit in the taxi industry. However when he becomes a victim of crime himself, he finds a new enterprise: he wangles control of the numerous high-rise housing developments in Hillbrow. Along the way he makes numerous enemies, and, with them and the police close on his heels, he has to use all his wits to stay ahead of the game.
Rapulana Seiphemo (Lucky Kunene) won the Best Actor award at the Durban International Film Festival in 2008 and at the Ouagadougou Panafrican Film and Television Festival (FESPACO) in 2009.
Ralph Ziman, South Africa, 2008, 118mins.
From a Whisper
From a Whisper commemorates the tenth anniversary of the August 1998 terrorist bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi , Kenya , in which more than 250 people died and more than 5,000 were injured.
Tamani (Corynne Onyango) believes her mother went missing in the confusion that followed the attack on the US embassy and is still alive. Her loss drives her to paint pictures and, occasionally, to deface the walls of the memorial park with heart symbols, an action that doesn’t endear her to most of the security detail at the park. Enter Abu (Ken Ambani) who is presently the security manager. He understands her point of view, having lost his close brother in the attack.
This film is not about the bombing but rather its aftermath on the lives of the indirect victims of the blast who were forced to learn how to live past a tragedy that shattered their lives.
Wanuri Kahiu presents the Kenyan perspective in this close look at the real struggle and worn-out consciences that come when despair turns into obsession and sorrow turns into denial. From a Whisper received 5 awards at the African Movie Academy Awards among them Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture.
Wanuri Kahiu, Kenya, 2008, 90mins.
Return to Goree
A very special musical road movie of African singer Youssou N’Dour’s epic journey following the trail left by enslaved Africans and the jazz music they invented. Youssou N’Dour’s challenge is to bring back to Africa a jazz repertoire and to sing those tunes in Gorée, the island that symbolizes the slave trade and stands to commemorate its victims. Guided in his mission by the blind pianist Moncel Genoud, Youssou N’Dour travels across the United States of America and Europe. Accompanied by some of the world’s most exceptional musicians, they meet peoples and create through concerts, encounters and debates, music which transcends cultural division. From Atlanta to New Orleans, from New York to Bordeaux and Luxemburg, the songs are immersed in jazz and gospel. Features musician and writer Imamu Amiri Baraka and drummer Idris Muhammad, among others.
Pierre-Yves Borgeaud, Switzerland, Senegal, Luxembourg, 2007, 90mins.
Zanzibar Soccer Queens
Women’s passion for soccer transcends gender boundaries and challenges the traditional image of women in Zanzibar, a predominantly Muslim society. The film presents a provocative and timely portrait of ‘Women Fighters’, a team of strong-willed women determined to better their lives and define new identities through playing football. Despite opposition and limited facilities, the women succeed to play the game they love, and their challenging viewpoints are signs of changing times on this exotic Island in East Africa.
Florence Ayisi, Tanzania, 2007, 83mins.
Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages (KIRIKOU AND THE WILD BEASTS)
Tiny Senegalese hero Kirikou is back in this sumptuous follow-up to the universally beloved Kirikou and the Sorceress. Using his wits and speed, brave Kirikou once again sets out to thwart the evil Sorceress Karaba and save his village from supernatural and environmental perils. Comprised of 4 short segments and based on traditional West African folk tales, Kirikou and the Wild Beast shows how the smallest and most valiant of heroes can overcome the fiercest of beasts. Directed by world-acclaimed animation masters Michel Ocelot and Bénédicte Galup, this multi-million dollar feature was produced by Didier Brunier (The Triplets of Belleville). Kirikou and the Wild Beast evokes the beauty of traditional West African village life through its inspired palette of ambers, ochres, and brightly colored patterns. In addition, the film features a lush soundtrack that brings together the internationally renowned African musicians Youssou N Dour, from Senegal, Rokia Traore, from Mali, and Manu Dibango, from Cameroon.
Michel Ocelot, France, 2005, 74mins.