November 2019, arsenal cinema

AFRIKAMERA 2019: Africa Lusofonia

[Translate to english:] BAAMUN NAFI, 2019

While it was the post-colonial militant cinema of liberation in ‘70s Angola and Mozambique that caused the biggest stir beyond the borders of the region and enjoys new attention today as part of an increased critical engagement with the continent’s colonial past, current productions from Lusophone Africa also engage with other social themes alongside its own history, including gender, religion, or urbanity. In its twelfth edition, AFRIKAMERA 2019: Africa Lusofonia presents a selection of current features and documentaries from Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique alongside productions from other regions of Africa.

KETEKE (Ghana 2017, 7.11.) The festival opens with this comedy by Peter Kofi Sedufia. Set in 80s Ghana, the film is the story of the unwilling odyssey undertaken by the heavily pregnant Atswei and her husband Bio. The couple want to take the train to his hometown of Akete for the birth, but end up stranded in the middle of nowhere through a chain of unfortunate events. A crazy trip begins, as the clock keeps ticking. Director Peter Kofi Sedufia will be at the screening for this Berlin premiere.

In cooperation with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, AFRIKAMERA is presenting a special program about the consequences of gold mining in western and southern Africa. In the documentary DYING FOR GOLD (South Africa 2018, 8.11.), Catherine Meyburgh and Richard Pakleppa examine the 120-year history of gold mining and the consequences of the related racist and capitalist practices of exploitation in South Africa whose effects can still be felt today. In PAS D’OR POUR KALSAKA (Burkina Faso/Deutschland 2019, 8.11.), Burkinian director Michel K. Zongo documents the consequences of gold exploitation from the point of view of the inhabitants of the village of Kalsaka, linking together African narrative traditions and Western elements to this end. Michel K. Zongo will attend the screening.

WELTFILME SPECIAL: ON THE MOVE/ALL ON BOARD (9.11.) In this program, three medium-length West African productions will be presented, including DANSA (Sierra Leone 2017). In this film by Mohamed Janneh and Nana Osei Kyei Mensah, young Morris attempts to live out his dream of a professional dance career against all the odds. The association Weltfilme e.V. has been supporting the work of local African filmmakers since 2002.

BETWEEN GOD AND I (Mozambique 2018, 9.11.) Taking Muslim woman Karen as her example, director Costa explores religious fundamentalism on the Ilha de Moçambique, which is increasingly threatening the peaceful coexistence of different religions on the island.

OUR MADNESS (Mozambique/Guinea-Bissau/Qatar/Portugal/France 2018, 9.11.) The central setting of the film is a psychiatric clinic in Maputo. It’s from there that patient Ernania sets off to see her son and husband again. In black-and-white images, João Viana creates an ecstatic cinematic reflection on the essence of madness and mysticism, as well as on the aftereffects of colonial history in today’s Mozambique, which continue to resonate.

RESGATE (Mozambique 2019, 9.11.) In Mickey Fonseca’s fast-paced thriller, Bruno is hoping for a new start after four years in prison. With the support of his friends, he finds work at a junkyard. Yet then a mysterious loan taken by his dead mother pops up and Bruno ends up in conflict with his old gang once again.

BEST OF AFRICAN SHORTS (10.11.)The program shows a selection of new, outstanding short films from the DR Congo, Tunisia, and Ruanda, including ZOMBIES (DR Congo 2019), a musical thriller by Belgian-Congolese rapper and filmmaker Baloji about digital zombification in the Congolese metropole of Kinshasa. Director Baloji will be present for the screening.

O GRANDE KILAPY (Zézé Gamboa, Angola/Brazil 2012, 10.11.) In the mid-60s, during the Salazar dictatorship, Joãozinho, son of a rich bank employee from Luanda, is enjoying life as a student in Lisbon. When his contacts to Angolan freedom fighters come to light, he is forced to leave the country. Back in Angola, he doesn’t give up though: with a certain degree of skill, he manages to turn the money of the colonial rulers to his own ends – and become a hero of the people.

DUGA, LES CHAROGNARDS (Burkina Faso 2019, 10.11.) In this socially critical satire by Abdoulaye Dao and Hervé Eric Lengani, Rasmané attempts to organize the funeral for his friend Pierre, who died unexpectedly, in the latter’s home village. Yet the village elder refuses to allow Pierre to be buried, as he was not christened and didn’t belong to any religious community. For Rasmané, an odyssey across Burkina Faso now begins.

MABATA BATA (Mozambique/Portugal 2017, 10.11.) Sol de Carvalho’s film is set in a Mozambican village during the civil war. Several years after the death of the young Azaria, its inhabitants get together to hold a ceremony to find out whether his spirit, which is still wandering the village, will give its blessing to his uncle’s imminent wedding. Yet the question arises instead as to why the boy had to die in the first place.

The short film program LUSOPHONE SHORTS (11.11.) presents a selection of current short film from Lusophone Africa, including LÚCIA NO CÉU COMSEMÁFOROS (Angola 2019) by Ery Claver & Gretel Marín about how a woman breaks out of a society marked by sexism and a lack of freedom with the help of the medium of film. Ery Claver will be attending the screening.

BAAMUN NAFI (Nafi’s Father, Senegal 2019, 11.11.) Mamadou Dia’s feature debut was celebrated at the Locarno Film Festival and now closes AFRIKAMERA. It tells the story of the dispute between two brothers over the upcoming marriage of their children. While young Nafi and her cousin Tokala wish nothing more than to wed and are already forging plans to move to Dakar in the future, her father, a local religious leader, is strictly against the idea, as his brother Ousmane belongs to a fundamentalist Islamic sect. Leading actor Alassane Sy will attend the screening, a German premiere. (fw)

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