See any three programmes in the Africa in Motion festival for £12/£7.50 concessions, or all sixteen for £48/£32 concessions. Tickets must all be bought at the same time. To book tickets, call the Filmhouse box office on 0131 228 2688. All special events and entertainment are free.
Fri 20 Oct at 5.45pm | Filmhouse Cinema 2
Father against son, white magic against sorcery, selfishness against altruism - Yeelen has all of these, plus some of the most stupendous cinematography of African landscapes you could ever wish for. Set in 13th century Mali and soaked in the metaphysics of Peulh cosmogony, it depicts the story of Niankoro as he is hounded by his 'poisonous' father, Soma. During his travels, Niankoro saves a village and gains a wife, but finally has to face the force of his father... The final showdown between father and son provides a dramatic end and a new beginning.
Arguably the best-known African film and one of the most visually stunning films ever made anywhere in the world, AiM suitably opens with this classic masterpiece by Malian director Souleymane Cissé, one of Africa's most important directors.
Artistic Director Lizelle Bisschoff will open the festival. The screening of Yeelen will be followed by a reception in the Filmhouse Guild Room with complimentary refreshments, sponsored by the University of Edinburgh's Centre of African Studies (CAS). From 9pm there will be live African music in the Filmhouse café bar, featuring Temwa Cultural Group and Jango Rhythms. Please see Artists & Performers.
Sat 21 Oct at 3.00pm and Sun 29 Oct at 1.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3 | 2hrs37m | PG
This programme of films offers a very special opportunity to see a number of extremely rare and hard-to-find early African films. Some of these films have never been screened in the UK before; for some there is only one print still in existence, and original English subtitles have been created especially for the screenings at AiM.
This project, which is generously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), aims to 'rescue' early works from the late 1960s by both major and neglected African directors in order to develop a deeper understanding of African film history.
The Lost Classics programme will be introduced by Dr David Murphy, senior lecturer at the University of Stirling's School of Languages, Cultures and Religions, and one of the leading experts on African cinema in Britain. The screenings will be followed by a roundtable discussion, please see Special Events.
A young African returns home to Niger from the States with cowboy outfits in his suitcase for his closest friends. Soon, the friends - Black Cooper, Billy Walter, Queen Christine and the rest - are out riding the range, rustling the village chief's cattle (and some passing giraffes!), getting drunk, fighting and playing poker. A hilarious take on the classic motif of the African who leaves Africa for the West and returns home a changed man, that is, literally 'westernised'!
A group of African students in Paris are reaching the end of their studies. Should they return to their newly independent homelands or should they try to forge a home for themselves in a hostile and indifferent France? In a very moving and atmospheric film, clearly influenced by the French New Wave, Ecaré beautifully captures the radicalism, sensuousness and ennui of the late 1960s Latin Quarter, as well as his characters' sense of displacement and isolation.
Mambety takes us on a guided tour of Dakar - a city of striking contrasts - on the back of a horse and cart. Devout Muslims pray on the sidewalk while young Catholics make their holy communion. The baroque splendour of the French-built city centre is a world away from the shacks and slums of the outskirts. A wry and witty look at urban life in 1960s Africa, the film reveals Mambety's marked sense of the beauty as well as the absurdity of everyday life.
The eponymous Badou Boy is the first in Mambety's series of charismatic but ultimately doomed rebels. A handsome young man in a paisley shirt, Badou Boy wanders from one offbeat adventure to another pursued by the comic but strangely menacing figure of the fat policeman. A hugely innovative African take on late 1960s psychedelia, with a kicking rock soundtrack, here in its embryonic form is the genius that Mambety would bring to fruition in his masterpiece Touki Bouki (screened on Wednesday, 25 Oct).
Sat 21 Oct at 8.30pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Set in an unspecified time period in a Wolof-speaking sub-Saharan African village, Ceddo depicts a people's desperate grip on tradition despite imperialist attacks from all angles. The Ceddo, a group of non-Muslim outsiders, kidnap Princess Dior Yacine in defiance against Islamic conversion. A village meeting is summoned and what follows is a provocative examination of the upheavals brought about by colonisation, religious imperialism and the slave trade, and African societies' response to these.
Ceddo, by pioneering Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene (who also directed Moolaadé), is hailed as his most thematically complex and stylistically daring film. With this film Sembene has created a cinematic masterpiece about resistance, individuality and change.
Sun 22 Oct at 3.30pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Slow-paced and faithfully depicting the close connection between human and nature in a rural context, Kaddu Beykat (which literally means 'Voice of the peasant') is a black-and-white feature-length docudrama interpreted by non-professional actors - farmers playing their own roles. The film also focuses on the fate of a young villager, Ngor, who leaves his village to seek work in Dakar, but returns disillusioned to marry a local woman.
The first feature-length film by a sub-Saharan African woman, Kaddu Beykat is set in the filmmaker's village of Fadial in Senegal. Safi Faye, who has a background in anthropology and a filmmaking career spanning almost three decades, documents everyday life in the village, and in particular the villagers' economic dependence on the groundnut crop. Initially banned in Senegal, the film condemns the colonial heritage of peanut monoculture and denounces the government's lack of agricultural diversification to ensure the welfare of the rural populace.
Sun 22 Oct at 6.30pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Yaaba tells the story of a 12-year-old boy named Bila who befriends Sana, an old woman ostracised by the villagers. Rumoured to be a witch, she has been banished to living on the outskirts of the local village in the Sahelian desert.
Winner of the International Critics Prize at Cannes in 1989, this inspirational and vivid treatise on human values brought international fame to Burkinabe director Idrissa Ouedraogo.
Mon 23 Oct at 9.15pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
In and around the station, many people try to scrape a living and some loving...Kenawi, a limping, love-hungry newspaper seller falls for Hanuma, a feisty, voluptuous siren. Hanuma is one of a group of unofficial female vendors who dodge the authorities to sell soft drinks to passengers. She is about to marry Abu Seri, a loud and heavy-handed porter who is trying to form a trade union. Meanwhile, newspapers report on a gruesome murder...
Chahine - who made his first film in 1950 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at Cannes in 1997 - explores sexuality, repression, madness and violence among the marginalised in this film, regarded as one of his masterpieces.
The screening will be introduced by film critic Mark Cousins and will include an exclusive extract from his forthcoming documentary, The Story of Film.
Tues 24 Oct at 8.30pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
A dead parrot, a bust of a national hero, a smart and beautiful girl, a small-town wheeler-dealer - these are just some of the ingredients of Nha Fala, an African musical with a fairy-tale story that manages to be bang up-to-date. Vita, the heroine, moves from her home town in Africa to Paris. What happens there impels her to come back home and take on a family curse. Will she sort it out?
Nha Fala is set in the gorgeous pastel cities of the Cape Verde Islands, with exhilarating music by Cameroonian saxophonist-composer Manu Dibango and plenty of singing and dancing. This film, by the second director ever to emerge from Guinea-Bissau, avoids the usual grim images of Africa, locating itself instead halfway between Brazilian Carnival and African politics.
This screening is sponsored by the University of Edinburgh's Centre of African Studies (CAS). Noe Mendelle, Director of the Scottish Documentary Institute, will introduce the screening and host a discussion on filmmaking in Guinea-Bissau afterwards.
Wed 25 Oct at 6.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 2
Paris... Paris... Paris... the dream that motivates young lovers, Mory and Anta, in their quest to escape the dead-end clutches of Dakar. Only when that dream becomes a tantalising reality do they realise that in pursuing their dream, a sacrifice must be made - a sacrifice far greater than either were expecting.
Mambety depicts with raw, visceral energy the impending roadwreck between the old folk customs, traditions and superstitions and the enforced adoption of European colonial attitudes, in a Senegal seemingly at a crossroads. In so doing he provides African cinema with one of its most original works of film art. (Two of Mambety's early films will be screened as part of the Lost African Classics programme on Sat 21 Oct and Sun 29 Oct.)
Wed 25 Oct at 8.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Set in Ethiopia, Harvest 3000 Years is the story of a peasant family's struggle for survival on the farm of a wealthy feudal landowner. The film's pace and visual style is geared to the rhythms of daily life, providing a sensitive portrayal of the details and dramas of everyday reality. The drama is set in motion by the teenage son and daughter who contest traditional social roles, the tyrannical behaviour of the landowner and the visionary and revolutionary deeds of the local 'madman'.
One of Africa's best-known and probably most radical filmmakers, Haile Gerima left his native Ethiopia for the US in 1968 in search of a more tolerant atmosphere. Here he became a Professor of Film and continues using the motion picture as a powerful means of communicating the experiences of Africans, from the continent and the diaspora.
Thurs 26 Oct at 6.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3 | 1hr35m | 15
A diverse programme of documentaries depicting a range of African experiences, from rural to diaspora.
An auto-biographical, pseudo-documentary exploration of the real-life relationship between Nigerian/British director Ngozi Onwurah and her mother Madge. Using flashbacks and reminiscences by both women, the film addresses themes of body image and racial identity with honesty and intensity.
Fishers of Dar, by filmmaker anthropologists Lina Fruzzetti (from Eritrea) and Ákos Östör, and co-directed by Steven Ross, provides an evocative sensory glimpse into life in a Tanzanian fishing village. Feel and smell the textures in this unique documentary that redefines 'observational' into a quiet depiction of lasting tradition in the face of change and modernisation.
An innovative, uplifting documentary following three intertwined stories: The personal narrative of Khalfan Hemed Khalfan, the rich history of Zanzibar Island and the marginalised plight of disabled people. As founder of the Zanzibar association of the disabled, Khalfan's accomplishments in inspiring disabled people with new skills and hope are mirrored by his strength and eloquence.
The film covers the work of small groups and individuals from the African and Asian diaspora resident in Scotland. With multiple examples of work being done in the arena of international aid, Think Local Act Global reverses the well-known adage to remind us that our own local thinking and actions can have an impact on a global as well as local scale.
This documentary programme is sponsored by Global Concerns Trust, a UK charity supporting projects in Africa and Asia. The screenings will be followed by a discussion hosted by Alastair Christie, chair of Global Concerns.
African-Asian Scottish writer and performance poet Kokumo Fadeke Rocks will appear in the Filmhouse café bar afterwards, followed by a performance by Tanzanian singer-songwriter Tumi Lambo. Please see Artists & Performers.
Fri 27 Oct at 3.30pm & 6.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
A sleep-walking, introverted youth, an elderly electrician who can't make lights come on, and a child worker who likes to sing are some of the inhabitants of Nouadhibou, a costal town on the edge of the Mauritian desert. Abdullah arrives to visit his mother before leaving for Europe. He hardly knows the local language, can't communicate with the place and the people he came from, and doesn't want to try. Yet he becomes increasingly involved in the lives of the inhabitants of this strange and unfamiliar world.
Born in Mauritania and raised in Mali, Sissako draws on his own personal experiences of displacement in this film, so visually beautiful it almost hurts your eyes; so poignant you can feel it pull at your heart. A vivid examination of the conflict between progress and tradition, Waiting for Happiness is more about those who leave than those who stay. They leave by train, by boat, on foot and by death.
Fri 27 Oct at 8.30pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Childhood friends Madiba and Sipho discover a dead man; in his case are a gun and a digital camera. The streetwise Sipho takes the gun while the more timid Madiba takes the camera. This is the turning point in their young lives. Sipho and his gun spark off a spiral of violence while Madiba secretly becomes a proficient video-artist. When both befriend a rebellious white girl it leads to bitter rivalry. Winner of the Crystal Bear at Berlin in 2004, this charming and accessible film by one of South Africa's most prominent post-apartheid black directors has a warm humanity and fresh eye looking at ghetto-life.
Musa isn't having a good time - she wants a baby but her husband, Sipho, is never around, she hears strange noises and finally gets terrorised by a horrific pterodactyl-like bird. Sipho may live in a state-of-the-art home, but when it comes to getting rid of his wife, he goes in for traditional remedies... and also finds out how much they cost. Making use of innovative digital animation, The Mamtsotsi Bird depicts raw, primeval horror in a modern setting.
Sat 28 Oct at 1.15pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Stunning, both visually and emotionally, Abouna is a story about family. Two young brothers look for their missing father only to find him where they least expect to. Their hunt takes them on a journey of love, loyalty and loss.
Taking place in director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's native country Chad, the landscape and the characters in Abouna form a breathtaking combination of picturesque aesthetics and unmitigated sincerity.
Sat 28 Oct at 3.30pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3 | 2hrs10m | 15
A double bill of films by two contemporary female directors from Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso.
Drought has struck. Father pushes his wife away from the family dinner of termites. In anger, when Mother challenges him, he digs a pit with a brutal purpose, but little does he suspect that Mother can retaliate just as powerfully. Based on an old Shona folk tale and rendered as a musical celebrating a diversity of contemporary Zimbabwean music, Mother's Day is one of the newest and most exciting motion picture productions to come out of Zimbabwe.
Set in a fictional African country racked by a decade-long genocidal conflict, Fanta Nacro's feature directorial debut deals with the attempts at reconciliation between two military groups, the controlling Nayaks and the rebel army of Bonandés, during one night of truth. But despite the guilt, grief, hatred and desire for vengeance felt by survivors on both sides, there are also sincere attempts to look into the future. At once a compelling, suspenseful drama and a deeply compassionate, insightful account of the potential pitfalls faced by any initiative which aims at reconciliation after years of incomprehensible violence, the film is reminiscent of many wars and atrocities the world over. The graphic scenes of violence caused some controversy among African audiences, but the film is in no way sensationalist. It deals with the importance of remembering - a memory that will ultimately prevent these atrocities from happening again.
Sat 28 Oct at 8.30pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3 | 1hr42m | 18
A double bill of UK premieres about music and poetry used as a tool of resistance, set in Cape Verde and South Africa.
In 1462, the first slaves arrived at the West African island of Cape Verde, brought from the mainland by Portuguese colonisers. They brought with them the rhythms and flavours that had become 'Batuque': a musical tradition performed mostly by female singers and dancers, making use of disposable 'drums'. Banned during the colonial era, 'Batuque' was a method of underground resistance.
I MIKE what I LIKE, the world's first spoken word film, is a riveting tour de force of visual poetry offering a visceral connection with language and a fluid, narrative, cinematic experience that is a kaleidoscopic visual interpretation of the words of political poet Kgafela oa Magogodi. The film is a roving conversation of words, images, text, music, graphics and performance set to jazz improvisation and action painting.
This programme will be introduced and discussed by Lizelle Bisschoff, Artistic Director of AiM, and Noe Mendelle, Director of the Scottish Documentary Institute.
Sun 29 Oct at 4.15pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Award-winning South African psychological drama Zulu Love Letter explores the emotional journey of two mothers searching for their daughters and the suffering endured by them during and after the apartheid struggle. Directed by Ramadan Suleman, who also co-wrote the script with Bhekizizwe Peterson, the movie is set in a newly democratic South Africa and explores the role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the demise of apartheid.
This screening will be followed by live African music in the Filmhouse café bar featuring Edimbira accompanied by Amadinda. Please see Artists & Performers.
AiM is funded by