Recommended African Film

African Film
Seeing films made in and about Africa is exciting and important. These are not going to provide the same technical satisfactions as Hollywood films, but you can learn a great deal about life in Africa from authentic films. Find titles and search on-line, including Google Video, YouTube, and other resources. Many films are in English, others are subtitled. It is worth the extra time it takes to find authentic, and less often seen, African film.

A great place to get ideas is the California Newsreel Library of African Films. This site will give you many possibilities and trailers for excellent films to watch, which you may be able to find on-line, at the library, or from other sources.

Artmattan Productions Titles from Continental Africa is another source for titles of quality African film.

Columbia University has a rich site for African film.

Arab Film.com is a great place to find films from North African countries -- click on the map. (A good documentary about how Arabs are portrayed in Hollywood film is Reel Bad Arabs.)

Low budget entertainment films from Nigeria (Nolywood) can be found at African Movie Channel.com.

The WMU Library video collection includes many African films, including some that were shown at our own Francophone Film Festival. Some African films in our library include: Everyone's Child, Dôlè, Daresalam, Thunderbolt, Mandabi, Bye bye Africa, Kirikou et la sorciére, Pieces d'identites, Africa Dreaming, Dakan
Faraw!, Le damier papa national oyé!, Keïta!, La vie est belle. Angano, Angano, Mapantsula.

African films are sometimes shown in our community, at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo College, and on our campus. The Foreign Languages Department also has a collection.

One director I like is Sembene Ousmane; here are three of his films:
Moolaade, Faat Kine, Xala. An important film from the Algerian Revolution with echoes in contemporary Iraq is Battle of Algiers (trailer). A film about the CIA involvement in the Congo is Lumumba (2000).

Hollywood/European films about Africa
There are many interesting Hollywood/European films about Africa, and many full of stereotypes or animals, from Tarzan to the Lion King. Usually these view Africa from an outsider's perspective. Many can be seen via Netflicks. A few recent films I recommend are: Hotel Ruwanda (2004), The Last King of Scotland (2006), Constant Gardener (2005), Blood Diamond (2006), Tsotsi (2005), Cry Freedom (1987), A Dry White Season (1989), Invictus (2009)

African Documentary
There are many important African documentaries. For example, Cry Freetown (1999). I want to see Black Gold. Help me improve this list! Here are some titles from the WMU library:

The Africans: A Triple Heritage (Masuri) YouTube
Wonders of the African World (Gates)
Kafi's story
A Kalahari family
Women of Zimbabwe
The silent killer
Wonders of the African world
The language you cry in
The life and times of Sara Baartman
Africa (1-8) written and presented by Basil Davidson
Four women of Egypt
Mandela and de Klerk
The World Bank
2 dollars with or without a condom
The JVC anthology of world music and
dance (as related to Africa)
End of empires
The Legacy of colonization
Liberia, the promised land
Mon coeur est témoin
A son of Africa
Through African eyes
Voices from the island
Africa, continent that overslept
Malidoma Patrice Somé
Monday's girls
Shackles of memory
SongoLoLo: voices of change
Gorée: door of no return
In and out of Africa
Roots (episode 1)
These hands
Black Athena
West African djembe drumming
The Flying Dutchmen
The hunters
Chinua Achebe
The dance of the spirits
Jomo Kenyatta
Rhythm of resistance
Stanley & Livingstone
The Water of Ayolé
Children of apartheid
Girls Apart
Water for Tonoumassé
Zan Boko
Africans (any in series by Ali A. Mazrui)
N!ai, the story of a !Kung woman
Rise up and walk
Frantz Fanon--black skin, white mask
Generations of resistance

Created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu
Revised: 9/11