February 2018, berlinale forum

"Shaihu Umar": Digital Screening of a Rediscovered Film

Before becoming Nigerian prime minister, writer Abubakar Tafawa Balewa landed a bestseller with his biographical novella "Shaihu Umar" from 1955. In 1976, Adamu Halilu adapted the material into a film, which is set in the late 19th century and revolves around an Islamic cleric telling his life story, which bears the marks of slavery. Long thought lost, the film rolls for several prints were rediscovered in 2016 in the archive of the Nigerian Film Corporation and restored by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art with the support of the German Foreign Office. The splendid new digital version of SHAIHU UMAR now receives its first screening at the Forum. An excerpt of the novella by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa can be found in this year’s programme brochure.

Excerpt of "Shaihu Umar" in this year's magazine as part of the programme brochure