The A-List of Bay Area Counterculture
The 2011 edition of the popular African Film Festival features films from eight countries ranging from Ivory Coast to Mali. It moves from the claustrophobic din of one Cape Town flat to the frenetic sprawl of African immigrant culture across Europe, from hair salons in Ghana and Nigeria to an imagined future of an East Africa without water, and even finds time for another visit with the crowd-pleasing, pint-sized animated star Kirikou, back for even more adventures.
This year, the series is complemented by three classics of African cinema from the World Cinema Foundation: Djibril Diop-Mambéty’s legendary Touki Bouki (1973), whose African dreamers and hustlers are the cinematic predecessors of those found in Elaine de Latour’s raucous Beyond the Ocean; Shadi Abdel Salam’s Al Momia (1969), acclaimed as one of the greatest Egyptian films of all time; and Trances (1981), with extraordinary footage of the Moroccan music group Nass El Ghiwane.
New or classic, documentary or narrative, the films of the African Film Festival spotlight the changes, moods, and conflicts of a continent then, as now, in flux. While challenging and expanding our image of Africa, they also confirm the importance of self-representation.
COMPLETE FILM SCHEDULE
Saturday, January 22, 2011
6:30 p.m. Al Momia
Shadi Abdel Salam (Egypt, 1969). One of the first Egyptian films ever released in the United States, Al Momia tells the story of an isolated tribe whose only means of subsistence is to raid their nation’s historic tombs for profit. A detective story, historical drama, and cultural metaphor rolled into one. “The picture has a sense of history like no other, and in the end, the film is strangely, even hauntingly consoling” (Martin Scorsese). (103 mins)
Thursday, January 27, 2011
7:00 p.m. One Small Step
Remi Vaughan-Richards (Nigeria, 2010). One woman turns from hairdresser to fiery community activist in this docu-fictional attack on local corruption in Nigeria. With Akosua Adoma Owusu’s short portrait of hair salons in Ghana, Me Broni Ba. (67 mins)
Saturday, January 29, 2011
4:30 p.m. Kirikou and the Wild Beasts
Michel Ocelot/Bénédicte Galup (France, 2005). This sequel to the popular Kirikou and the Sorceress finds little Kirikou using his brains and heart to help out his fellow African villagers. Vibrantly colorful animation and a superb soundtrack by Youssou N’Dour and Manu Dibango make Kirikou a fabulous film for all ages. (74 mins)
Saturday, January 29, 2011
6:30 p.m. Touki Bouki
Djibril Diop-Mambéty (Senegal, 1973). Two youths cruise the streets of Dakar on a motorbike, looking for adventure and scams, in this African Easy Rider, awash with the raw energy of urban Senegal and global psychedelic youth culture. “Surreal, richly sumptuous, quite extraordinary”(Telegraph UK ). (88 mins)
Thursday, February 3, 2011
7:00 p.m. Shirley Adams
Oliver Hermanus (South Africa, 2009). A single mother fights to raise her paraplegic son in the slums of Cape Town in this powerful melodrama from South Africa, winner of the Durban Film Festival’s awards for Best South African Film, Best Actress, and Best Debut Film. (92 mins)
Saturday, February 5, 2011
6:30 p.m. Beyond the Ocean
Eliane de Latour (France/Ivory Coast, 2008). Two friends from the Ivory Coast try to make it big in Europe—with different results—in this raucous look at the African immigrant underground in Europe. (106 mins)
Thursday, February 10, 2011
7:00 p.m. Trances
Ahmed El Maanouni (Morocco, 1981). The mighty Moroccan music group Nass El Ghiwane is the subject of this powerful concert film/documentary, a must-see for anyone interested in Moroccan music and culture. Martin Scorsese’s first choice for his World Cinema Foundation’s restoration work, and a key influence on Peter Gabriel’s Last Temptation of Christ soundtrack. (87 mins)
Thursday, February 17, 2011
7:00 p.m. Contemporary African Short Films
These six short films, including three debut projects, variously look back at African history, explore contemporary issues, and imagine a dystopic future. With shorts A History of Independence, Dr. Cruel, Intermittent Delight, Mapping Journey, Atlantique, and Pumzi. (75 mins)
PFA Theater Information
Location: 2575 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch Street) on the UC Berkeley campus
Admission: Single general admission tickets are $9.50; single admission tickets for seniors, disabled persons, UC Berkeley faculty and staff, non–UC Berkeley students, and young adults (13–17) is $6.50; single admission tickets for BAM/PFA members and UC Berkeley students is $5.50.
PFA Theater Ticket Sales: Daily from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. at the Museum’s Bancroft Lobby admissions desk, and one-hour before the first showtime of the day at the PFA Theater box office.
Charge-by-Phone: (510) 642-5249
Information: 24-hour recorded message (510) 642-0808; fax (510) 642-4889; TDD (510) 642-8734.