Thu 25 Oct at 5.45pm | Filmhouse Cinema 1
Xala is one of the most celebrated films by the late Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene. A caustic satire on the African bourgeoisie, the film tells the story of businessman El Hadji Abdou Kader Beye, who appears to have reached the pinnacle of his society. On the night of his wedding to his third wife, he falls victim to the curse of impotence - the 'xala'.
This comical and visually stunning film contains some of the most powerful images in World Cinema, from the symbolic hyper-realism of the long opening sequence to the anger and brutality of the final scene. Xala is a film that will live long in the memory.
The screening of Xala is sponsored by the University of Stirling's School of Languages, Cultures and Religions. Festival director Lizelle Bisschoff will open the festival. The screening will be followed by a reception and music event at Lava Ignite Nightclub.
Fri 26 Oct at 3.45pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Black Girl is Ousmane Sembene's first feature film, and is regarded as the first feature film by any director from sub-Saharan Africa. The film tells the tragic tale of Diouana, a young Senegalese woman who finds works as a childminder for a French couple in Dakar. When the couple return to the south of France, she goes with them, dreaming of a life of luxury and fine clothes on the Côte d'Azur. However, things don't turn out as she planned...
A very moving and beautifully filmed portrayal of the gradual breakdown of a fragile, young woman, this is a great opportunity to see one of the genuine classics of African cinema.
Before the screening, David Murphy, author of Sembene: Imagining Alternatives in Film and Fiction, will give a short tribute to Sembene.
Fri 26 Oct at 6.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Two documentaries from Portuguese colonial Africa. The screenings will be followed by a discussion with directors Gabriel Mondlane and Richard Pakleppa, hosted by Noe Mendelle, Director of the Scottish Documentary Institute.
On the night-time streets of Beira Port in Mozambique, commercial sex workers hold their own informal clinics to protect themselves against HIV. A rich and thought-provoking film by a pioneering Mozambican director.PLUS
He wrote: "Angola is hungry for a new future. After 27 years of war there's been peace for 3 years now." In Angola Saudades an unknown voice reads letters which take the viewer on a journey across different realities of the enigma that is Angola. Between streetboys and fashion models we encounter a kaleidoscope of characters and colours that turn around the striking contradictions of poverty and plenty in one of Africa's largest producers of oil and diamonds. Made in collaboration with Angolan singer Paulo Flores, the film creates poetic fragments of image and sound.
Sat 27 Oct at 3.15pm & 6.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
AiM 2007 includes a special focus on the work of female African directors, part of our ongoing "Lost African Classics" project, with the screenings of a number of rare early classics by pioneering women directors, followed by a panel discussion after the screening of La Nouba.
Sat 27 Oct at 3.15pm
Sambizanga is set during Angola's struggle for liberation from Portuguese domination, and tells the story of Maria Xavier's search for her husband, a worker, who has been imprisoned and tortured by the secret police. Focusing on her day-to-day existence during the struggle, Maria's physical journey gradually also marks the awakening of her political consciousness.
Guadeloupean-born director Sarah Maldoror was married to one of the leaders of the Angolan struggle for independence and devoted her filmmaking career to raising international awareness of the African liberation struggles. An ambitious film by a highly accomplished filmmaker, Sambizanga won the first prize at the 1972 Carthage Film Festival. Despite its importance as a film by a pioneering female director, British audiences have had few opportunities to view this film.
The screening will be introduced by Andrew Lawrence, Lecturer in Comparative Politics and African Studies at the University of Edinburgh's Centre of African Studies.PLUS SHORT
This revealing documentary offers a rare view of daily life in West Africa. Shot in Senegal, Selbe focuses on the social role and economic responsibility of women in African society. Because men often leave their communities to earn money in the city, women are left with sole responsibility for their families. Through the character of Selbe we observe how one woman's personal struggle reflects the broader issues faced by many women in developing countries. Safi Faye, an ethnologist, is one of the most important woman directors in West Africa and the first woman from sub-Saharan Africa to direct a feature film. (A Women Make Movies release)
Sat 27 Oct at 6.00pm
Fifteen years after the end of the Algerian war Lila returns to her native region obsessed by memories of the war for independence that defined her childhood. Reading the history of her country as written in the stories of women's lives, the film is an engrossing portrait of speech and silence, memory and creation, and a tradition where the past and present coexist.
This classic film from acclaimed novelist/filmmaker Assia Djebar is essential viewing for an understanding of women in Algeria. Taking its title and structure from the Nouba, a traditional song of five movements, the film mingles narrative and documentary styles to document the creation of women's personal and cultural histories. Assia Djebar is widely hailed as one of the most important figures in francophone Maghrebian literature and became the first Muslim North African woman to be elected as a member of the prestigious French Academy in 2005. (A Women Make Movies release)
The screening of La Nouba will be followed by a panel discussion on female African directors in which a number of film theorists and historians will participate.
Sun 28 Oct at 2.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
In pre-colonial times a peddler crossing the savanna discovers a child lying unconscious in the bush. When the boy regains consciousness, he is mute and cannot explain who he is. The peddler leaves him with a family in the nearest village who adopts him, giving him the name "Wend Kuuni" (God's Gift) and a loving sister with whom he bonds. Wend Kuuni regains his speech only after witnessing a tragic event that prompts him to reveal his own painful history.
A film by one of the most celebrated directors of African cinema, this gentle fable emphasises the importance of traditional values in modern Africa.
The screening of God's Gift is sponsored by Jubilee Scotland. To mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Burkina Faso's independence leader, Thomas Sankara, Jubilee Scotland will be giving a brief talk on Sankara's bold cultural and political resistance to debt and imperial control by the West. Sankara's story of African self-determination in film, politics and culture continues to inspire today. Jubilee Scotland campaigns for debt justice for the world's poor and is marking the anniversary of Sankara's death in 1987 to highlight his part in bringing the debt crisis to the world's attention.
Sun 28 Oct at 6.15pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Against the backdrop of the Six Day War, masterful Egyptian director Youssef Chahine sketches another of his ensemble visions of life in contemporary Egypt. At the centre of a kaleidoscopic swirl of characters are two young men, a reporter and a policeman, who begin a friendship as each confronts the legacy of his father. Their confrontations are heightened when war breaks out. The film ends, Altman-style, with all of the characters brought together, in the spontaneous outpouring of sorrow, rage, frustration and confusion onto Cairo's streets following Nasser's announcement of Egypt's military defeat and his resignation.
The screening will be introduced by film critic, writer and producer Mark Cousins.
Sun 28 Oct at 9.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 2
In a village where everyone walks, Linguere Ramatou arrives by train. The village is Colobane, and Colobane is in trouble. Poverty, hovering over the village's existence like the hyenas stalking their prey in the desert, threatens the future of Colobane. But Ramatou, driven out of Colobane in disgrace 30 years earlier, returns as a millionairess with ideals of honesty and justice. The problem is, Ramatou's justice is that of a wrathful goddess. And just how honest is wholesale bribery?
Could you resist a film with the line: "Take your hands off me - you hit the hinge of my artificial leg"? The second and final feature of maverick director Djibril Diop Mambety, Hyenas is awash in the hypnotic colours and intoxicating sounds of West Africa - a wicked comedy depicting the devastating effects of greed on a small, poverty-stricken village.
The screening will be introduced by Andrew Lawrence, Lecturer in Comparative Politics and African Studies at the University of Edinburgh's Centre of African Studies.
Mon 29 Oct at 6.30pm | Filmhouse Cinema 2
In the courtyard of a house in Bamako, the capital of Mali ("a leading gold-producing country where the people are poor"), a symbolic trial is taking place. The plaintiff is African society; the defendants are the massive international financial institutions - the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the legacies of colonialism and Western materialism. In the background, life goes on - one man is slowly dying, a marriage is being torn apart, a security guard's gun has gone missing, another man struggles to learn Israeli.
Bamako is a rich film about poverty, exploitation and desperation. Full of colour, music and vitality, it combines gripping drama and sharp satire to create an inspirational, often humorous and sometimes moving insight into contemporary Africa.
The screening will be introduced by Andrew Lawrence, Lecturer in Comparative Politics and African Studies at the University of Edinburgh's Centre of African Studies.
The screening of Bamako is sponsored by Global Concerns Trust, a charity supporting projects in Africa and Asia. The sponsorship is linked to Scotland-wide awareness-raising events to publicise the charity's project work in Malawi in association with the Scottish-based Tools for Self Reliance groups. The screening will be followed by a discussion hosted by Alastair Christie, Chair of Global Concerns Trust.
Mon 29 Oct at 9.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Heritage Africa tells the story of Kwesi Atta Bosomefi, the perfect "native" civil servant, whose elevation to the post of district commissioner in the colonial administration causes him to repress his African identity. He changes his name to Quincy Arthur Bosomfield and rejects part of his African culture for every British value he learns. Gradually he rises through the educational and religious regimen of British colonialism, only to humbly rediscover his African heritage.
Winner of the grand prize at the 1989 FESPACO film festival, Heritage Africa is a drama about betrayal and gradual awakening.
The screening will be followed by live music in the Filmhouse café bar, featuring jazzy grooves and Afro-beats from Senegal by musicians Samba Sene and others.
Tue 30 Oct, 2.00pm - 5.00pm | Edinburgh College of Art, Main Lecture Theatre (E22) (map) | Free and non-ticketed
A variety of thought-provoking documentaries by emerging and established filmmakers from across the continent, followed by discussions.
Tue 30 Oct at 2.00pm | Edinburgh College of Art, Main Lecture Theatre (E22)
Shot deep into the Cambodian jungle, by the border with Laos, Green Alert explores simple solutions to the ecological emergencies, improved by villagers. They collaborate with the authorities to establish community-protected areas. Their efforts for a sustainable use of natural resources have a highly positive impact on environment preservation. As in many developing countries, many lands are endangered by deforestation, illegal logging and wildlife trade...
Tue 30 Oct at 2.30pm | Edinburgh College of Art, Main Lecture Theatre (E22)
A visual meditation on the issues troubling a young Nigerian, the film is an attempt to deconstruct the inherent colonial language and way of seeing oneself. It is a plea to a society that needs to self-reflect and self-address at a time in which it is increasingly distracted and sedated by incompatible examples. The film displays the hope that Nigerians will reason beyond their economic insecurities and consciousness of the backdrop of a supposedly superior western world.
Tue 30 Oct at 3:45pm | Edinburgh College of Art, Main Lecture Theatre (E22)
The Mystery Mountain is a story of how and why people disappear on Mount Mulanje in Malawi and the reactions and beliefs of those who are seeing it happen. What the local "Mang'anja" and "Lomwe" people believe is vastly different to the theories of others who have become involved in the mystery. Some people have gone missing and never returned, some have returned with strange stories to tell of their experience...
The Mystery Mountain is the first ever Malawian film to be screened outside of Malawi. Filmmaker Villant Ndasowa will be in attendance to talk to the audience after the screening. In collaboration with the Scotland Malawi Partnership.
Tue 30 Oct at 9.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 2
Max Bua, a 19 year old "mourning star" from the rural Zwartruggens farming community in South Africa, undertakes a journey to the daunting metropolis of Johannesburg. Saddled with a sacrificial goat, Mona, to deliver as a wedding present, Max is a small part of rural South Africa juxtaposed into the mayhem of urban life. Finding himself alone in the city, Max turns to his ne'er-do-well Uncle Norman for help, only to find himself acting as Uncle Norman's saviour. A madcap adventure from funeral to funeral ensues with the aid of a transvestite mortician, a flamboyant preacher and a host of disreputable characters. But if tears turn to laughter at the wrong funeral, what hope is there for Max and Mona?
We are delighted to have director Teddy Mattera in attendance to talk to the audience after the screening.
Wed 31 Oct at 6.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
Twenty-five-year-old Bahta lives on the outskirts of Tunis and has no job, no degree and no prospects. His one passion is breakdancing, but even that outlet is regularly and violently repressed by the cops. His rebelliousness brings him to the attention of fundamentalists who offer him dubious forms of acceptance and advice - a conversion fueled by his desperate search for paternal love and purpose.
Addressing the controversial issue of radical Islamists recruiting
vulnerable and frustrated youths, and incorporating a
surprise stylistic twist, Making Of is a compelling and
highly original film by one of the greatest
representatives of North African cinema.
An experimental short film that explores the harrowing psychological effects of war on a Sudanese asylum seeker in the UK.
Zimbabwean filmmaker Rumbi Katedza will be in attendance to talk to the audience after the screening.
Wed 31 Oct at 9.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 2
This musical road movie tells of African singer Youssou N'Dour's epic journey following the trail left by slaves and by the jazz music they invented. Youssou N'Dour's challenge is to bring back to Africa a jazz repertoire and to sing those tunes in Gorée, the island that today symbolises the slave trade and stands to commemorate its victims. Guided in his mission by the pianist Moncef Genoud, Youssou N'Dour travels across the United States of America and Europe. Accompanied by some of the world's most exceptional musicians, they create, through concerts, encounters and debates, music which transcends cultural division. From Atlanta to New Orleans, from New York to Dakar via Luxembourg, the songs are transformed through an immersion in jazz and gospel. But the day of their return to Africa is fast approaching and much remains to be done for the final concert...
The screening will be followed by live music in the Filmhouse café bar, featuring singer-songwriter David Ferrard. In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade David will be presenting a selection of songs about slavery and emancipation.
Thu 1 Nov | 2.00pm - 5.00pm | Edinburgh College of Art, Main Lecture Theatre (E22) (map) | Free and non-ticketed
Screenings of contemporary South African shorts and documentaries, followed by discussions.
Thu 1 Nov at 2.00pm | Edinburgh College of Art, Main Lecture Theatre (E22)
A serial killer is on the loose in a small South African coastal town. Anthony, a security guard is the only suspect in the case. As the investigation unfolds, it soon becomes clear that a young police constable has a vested interest in his conviction. They are in love with the same women, Anthony's wife, who seems to be well aware of her power over the two men. Barren is an exciting psychological thriller by a promising student production team.
Thu 1 Nov at 2.30pm | Edinburgh College of Art, Main Lecture Theatre (E22)
This documentary tells the story of the 1980 student boycott in the Western Cape. Laddie Bosch, an ex-student of Spes Bona High, starts his story: "I was born in 1964...but it was in 1980 that I became a person." The film takes us through the images and events that featured in the lives of high school students in that year, culminating in the murder of Bernard Fortuin, the first person killed by police in the Western Cape in 1980. A highly organised student body was formed called "Committee of 81", and members of this underground committee tell of the adventure, excitement and sadness during this school student revolt. Despite the hardships and losses endured, the film celebrates the youthful spirit of the 80s and the solidarity shared amongst students at that time.
Thu 1 Nov at 3.30pm | Edinburgh College of Art, Main Lecture Theatre (E22)
Described as astonishingly intimate, emotionally overwhelming and sometimes shocking, The Mothers' House is a record of four years in the life of Miché, a charming and precocious yet troubled teenage girl growing into womanhood in post-apartheid South Africa. Living with her mother and grandmother in Bonteheuwel, a "coloured" township outside Cape Town, she has to face not only life in a community troubled by gangsterism and drug abuse, but also what is means to break the unbearable cycle of emotional and physical violence imprisoning her own family.
Thu 1 Nov at 6.30pm | Filmhouse Cinema 2
Kongo Congo, a writer living in Matonge, the African district of Brussels, is commissioned to write a book on the Congolese community. Joseph D, the editor, wants a tourist guide spiced with ethnic ingredients that would please the large population of the global village without challenging it or making political references. But the writer is inspired by the visions of complex and tormented souls that he meets and he feels increasingly compelled to stay true to his own inspiration. Facing a financial crisis, Kongo has to decide which story to write: his own or Joseph D's: "Matonge Village" or "Juju Factory"?
This award-winning film by the highly acclaimed Congolese director Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda is packed with intelligence, wit and passion.
The screening of Juju Factory is sponsored by Challenges Worldwide, an international development charity and Scotland's largest professional international volunteer sending agency. Challenges Worldwide will be hosting a pre-screening event in the Filmhouse Guild Room at 5:30pm; for further details please contact the Challenges Worldwide office on 0845 2000 342, [email protected].
Fri 2 Nov at 9.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
The year is 2033 and the tables have turned on global economics and power relations. Every European wants to go to the "United States of Africa" where there is plentiful work, with war and poverty something of the past. We follow the trials of a European couple who attempts to immigrate, but they fail to get visas and and resort to working for a clandestine border runner, an experience through which they gradually discover the tough realities of being an illegal immigrant.
This bitingly funny satire plays intelligently with xenophobic and racist stereotypes; a film inspired by the real-life experiences of African immigrants in Europe.
The screening will be followed by live music in the Filmhouse café bar, featuring Ghanaian musician Sam Achampon.
Sat 3 Nov at 2.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
In an astonishing exposition of choreographic creations, nine African choreographers tell stories of the emergence of contemporary African dance. Stunning choreography and riveting critiques challenge stale stereotypes of "traditional Africa" to unveil soul-shaking responses to the beauty and tragedy of 21st century Africa.
Sat 3 Nov at 3.45pm | Filmhouse Cinema 2
To conclude our focus on female directors, AiM features the UK premieres of two contemporary films. Directors Isabelle Boni-Claverie and Apolline Traoré will be in attendance to talk to the audience after the screenings.
Shot in black and white and set in Marseilles, Pour la Nuit opens with a death. Muriel, a beautiful young woman of mixed-race, has just lost her mother. She escapes from the tragedy in a taxi whose driver warns her of "hot-blooded men" that frequent the district where she asks to be dropped off. She meets a man in a down-town nightclub and they share one night of passion and stark honesty. In the early morning they part - Muriel to attend her mother's funeral, the man to attend his wedding.
This evocative short film, by French/Ivorian filmmaker Isabelle Boni-Claverie, is a passionate depiction of beginnings and endings.
Patrick, a French engineer, returns to the village in Burkina Faso where, years ago, he had a daughter with a local woman, Kaya. He snatched the baby away from the hut of the midwife just after Kaya gave birth, but he is now returning with Martine, wanting her to experience the part of her heritage she was alienated from. Kaya, who has lost her ability to speak after the trauma of losing her child, "kidnaps" the little girl and takes her into the bush in an attempt to build a relationship with her estranged daughter. A journey of discovery begins between mother and daughter who grow to know and love each other despite the vast cultural differences between them. But Patrick is desperate to find them in a race against time, because Martine is gravely ill...
This poignant tale is the debut feature of acclaimed Burkinabe director Apolline Traoré, a film which deals with issues of love, deception and redemption in an unforgettably heart-rendering way.
Sat 3 Nov at 6.30pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
The UK premieres of two documentaries by South African filmmakers, both focusing on some of the forgotten and marginalised histories of Southern Africa.
More video art than cinema, Western 4.33 is an unconventional documentary by South Africa's foremost experimental filmmaker. The film explores the genocidal tactics employed by the German colonial forces against the indigenous Herero people of Namibia. Between 1904-1907 thousands of Hereros were detained and died in concentration camps which would later serve as models for the Holocaust. Bleak black and white cinematography and challenging sound design work together to create a strong visceral experience, almost incarcerating the viewer within the horror of the atrocity.
This powerful film shows history from a contemporary perspective, forcing us to realise the violent reality and ongoing consequences of the colonial endeavor.
Why would men who are repressed at home valiantly fight in the war of their oppressors? And what did the triumphant victors give them, upon their return, for their "gallant and distinguished service"? In this very personal, fascinating investigation, South African documentary maker Vincent Moloi journeys from the Soweto sitting rooms of veterans to El Alamien to find the answers, and in doing so unearths the significant contribution of South Africa's black soldiers to the Allies' North Africa campaign.
Told with poignancy, the irony of their situation is slowly revealed through the life and actions of one soldier: Job Maseko. Job received the Military Medal for a heroic and ingenious sabotage of a German supply ship while a prisoner of war in Tobruk.
Filmmaker Vincent Moloi will be present to talk to the audience after the screening.
Sun 4 Nov at 1.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3
A vivid social satire with overtones of Romeo and Juliet, Finye tackles the generation gap in post-colonial West Africa. Its heroine is the rebellious daughter of a provincial military governor who falls in love with a fellow university student, the descendant of one of Mali's chiefs of an earlier age. Both families object to the union and to the lovers' growing involvement in student strikes against the corrupt government. A mix of politics, romance and social commentary by the director of Yeelen (which opened AiM 2006 to a sold-out audience), Finye casts a critical eye on both traditional and modern values.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on the links between the African oral tradition of storytelling, and African film as a contemporary medium of telling stories. The panel, chaired by Andrew Lawrence, will feature African storytellers, filmmakers and film theorists. In partnership with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 26th Oct - 4th Nov.
Sun 4 Nov at 4.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 1
Set in the fictional African state of Judea, where violence, poverty and sectarianism are endemic, Son of Man is an adventurous and ambitious new interpretation of the Gospels by the South African theatre and film ensemble, Dimpho Di Kopane, who also produced U-Carmen eKhayelitsha. The country is invaded by a neighbouring dictatorship under the pretense of establishing democracy and peace through the means of summary executions and brutal massacres. As the civil war reaches a new level, a divine child - the Saviour - is born. As he grows up he sets out to redeem his people from oppression through an ethics of non-violent protest and solidarity.
Visually striking and featuring a powerful soundtrack incorporating inspirational traditional and protest songs, Son of Man is a daring tale of defiance and revolution with an ethical and political scope that reaches far beyond contemporary Africa.
The closing screening is sponsored by the South African High Commission in the UK. The screening will be followed by live music in the Filmhouse café bar featuring an Afro-Scottish collective with guitars, vocals and percussion by musicians Samba Sene and others.