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African-themed movies - Djembefola - Djembe Forum

CDs, books and DVDs
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By michi
#9628
A while ago, I decided to start a collection of African-themed movies. The list is supposed to included dramas and docu-dramas (i.e., movies that people watch for entertainment), so the list doesn't include documentaries.

I'd be keen to grow the list and would appreciate people's suggestions. Here is what I have so far:
  • African Queen
  • Blood Diamond
  • Catch A Fire
  • The Constant Gardener
  • Cry Freedom
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy
  • Gorillas In The Mist
  • Hotel Rwanda
  • The Last King Of Scotland
  • Moolaadé
  • Out Of Africa
  • The Visitor
  • The White Masai
  • Zulu Dawn
Things I have heard about, but haven't seen yet:
  • Babel
  • Bamako
  • Masai: The Rain Warriors
Can anybody help me grow the list?

Cheers,

Michi.
By bubudi
#9657
i really enjoyed le ballon d'or (the golden ball). set in guinea, it's about a village boy pursuing his dreams.

there's a scene in it where the boys accidentally kick the ball into an official's compound. there's a rather mean gendarme guarding the compound, but one of them finds a kakilambe mask and they spook the gendarme with it while one of the boys grabs the ball. here's a very short clip from the end of that scene:



'aaahh! malleur kakilambe, malleur kakilambe!'

:rofl:

here's some various scenes from the film with kasse mady's music in the background.
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By bops
#9669
Nice list Michi...

I've seen a lot of those and enjoyed them too. African Queen is an old favorite. The Visitor wasn't my favorite, but the story tapped into something that a lot of people can relate to, that is the renewed sense of life and purpose that one gets from drumming, especially jembe.

Recently a friend gave my kids the Kirikou movie. I really liked that, and they did too. Great music, too. What about the second half didn't you like, guedom?

A good one I watched recently on Netflix was Goodbye Solo.

I would highly recommend any of the films by Senegalese director Ousman Sembène.

You probably already know about FESPACO, the film festival that takes place annually in Ouagadougou. I'd love to go sometime... definitely the best film fest in Africa.
User avatar
By michi
#9672
Wow, thanks for all the contributions! I'll make a more complete list. Maybe we could post that one somewhere here and update it periodically?

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By michi
#9688
Hunting around on the web a bit, I've grown the list a bit:
  • Abbott and Costello in Africa Screams
  • Abouna
  • African Queen
  • Albert Schweitzer: Called to Africa
  • Babel
  • Le Ballon D'or
  • Bamako
  • Beat the Drum
  • Blood Diamond
  • Catch A Fire
  • The Constant Gardener
  • Cry Freedom
  • Cry, The Beloved Country
  • Dambé: The Mali Project
  • Dreams of Dust
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy
  • Goodbye Solo
  • Gorillas In The Mist
  • Hotel Rwanda
  • I Dreamed Of Africa
  • Kirikou Et La Sorcière
  • The Last King Of Scotland
  • Living Free
  • Madame Brouette
  • Mama Africa - She's In Your Soul
  • Masai: The Rain Warriors
  • Moolaadé
  • Nowhere In Africa
  • Out Of Africa
  • Sarafina
  • Shaft In Africa
  • The Visitor
  • The White Masai
  • Tsotsi
  • Yaaba
  • Zulu Dawn
Michi.
User avatar
By e2c
#9774
from South Africa: Yesterday (about a young woman with AIDS and what she decides to do for her child before she dies)

From Botswana/UK: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - very much worth watching, and based on a great series of short novels by Alexander McCall Smith. (I just wish they had hired African actresses to play the 2 female leads, but you can't win 'em all.)

From the US, but very African-themed: Daughters of the Dust (directed by Julie Dash).
http://www.geechee.tv/julieinfo/bio2.html

about colonial French W. Africa: Black and White in Color
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_and_White_in_Color
Very anti-colonial. ;)

@ michi: I think your Abbott & Costello title is likely not worth watching, unless you want to see all kinds of stereotypes and generally bigoted presentations of African people. (Yikes!!!)

As for The Visitor, I very much liked the plotline about the mother and about what happens to so many immigrants here (held in prison; sometimes for years, as with the Chinese who illegally entered the US on the ship Golden Venture). But I can't figure out why on earth Tarek was playing African rather than Middle Eastern percussion. ;) The Central Park drum circle scenes were well-done, though, in terms of capturing some of the vibe there. (Not so sure about the level of djembe-playing in the film, though.) I love Hiam Abbass (played Tarek's mother) and it was nice to see her in an English-language film. I also really liked Danai Guirrira (Zainab), who is Zimbabwean-American. Hope to see more of her in the future!
User avatar
By michi
#9776
Thanks for the additions!
@ michi: I think your Abbott & Costello title is likely not worth watching, unless you want to see all kinds of stereotypes and generally bigoted presentations of African people. (Yikes!!!)
I agree--it's not likely to be anything realistic and probably makes lots of jokes in bad taste at the expense of Africans. But I didn't want to put a quality filter on the list. Everyone can make up their own mind. Basically, it's a list of fiction or docudrama movies that have Africa in a noticeable way in their theme. I haven't watched Zulu Dawn yet but, given the age of the movie, I won't be surprised if it contains many cliches and stereotypes too.
But I can't figure out why on earth Tarek was playing African rather than Middle Eastern percussion. ;)
Me neither. Maybe because the djembe is a more recognizable icon?

Overall though, I very much enjoyed watching this movie. Well acted, with characters that really come to life.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By e2c
#9777
Yeah... it's more or less from the same era when Amos 'n Andy and Stepin Fetchit were popular here in the US. Which means it hits all kinds of nerves for many people, as it's very much coming from blackface minstrelsy.

Even in the 1950s and 60s, where you start to see a few positive, non-racist portrayals of black people in films, those movies are very few and far between.

And ... I think it's going to take a few hundred more years for us to get past a lot of the bad legacy that comes from both slavery and racial segregation.

I know that's sort of off-topic, but when it comes to American movies about black people and/or Africa, well... it kind of goes with the territory.

*
Re. The Visitor, i think the cast and director did a lot with what could have been a very cliched film. Props all 'round! :)
By bubudi
#9784
i've seen africa screams. yea, kind of erroneous and outdated, but amusing.
you could add some of the tarzan movies to that, or madagascar, or the lion king.

re: dambe: the mali project, isn't that a documentary and therefore belongs in a separate list?

if you can find it i would recommend yeelen (bambara for 'light'), by souleymane cisse. the movie is set about 500 years ago when the komo secret society was highly feared. a young initiate journeys to his uncle to request help in fighting his sorcerer father.

by the same director/writer:

finye (bambara for 'wind'). two malian teenagers from different backgrounds meet at a secondary school and fall in love. they become part of a new generation that rejects the established social order of their time.

baara (bambara for 'work'). a young manager of a factory meets a man walking in the street who says his family were traditionally servants to the manager's family. the manager offers him a job, and while looking out for him, soon begins to see how the company mistreats its workers.

waati (bambara for 'time'). follows the life of a young girl who flees south africa during the apartheid regime after a violent confrontation with a local white landowner in which her father is killed. ten years later in abidjan she becomes a university student and visits the tuareg tribe as part of her studies, before at last returning to south africa at the end of apartheid.

den muso (bambara for 'girl'). tragic story of a young mute girl in mali. cisse's most controversial film.

cinq jours d'une vie (five days in a life). a young malian man who drops out of quranic school is forced to become a petty thief. cisse's first film.

min ye (tell me who you are). explores the relationship sagas of a vivacious malian female lawyer. the latest movie by cisse to be released.
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