UC Berkeley Library

African Cinema

Ca Twiste a� Poponguine(Senegal, 1993)

A film by Moussa Sene Absa. A coming of age story set in a remote Senegalese beachside village during the week before Christmas, 1964, where the local teenage boys are divided into rival cultural camps. The "Ins" ("Inseparables") style themselves after French pop stars, attend school, have all the girls--but no record player. Their rivals, the "Kings," style themselves after African-American blues legends, they work as fishermen, don't have any girls--but they do have a record player. In French with English subtitles. 90 min.

Camp de Thiaroye (Algeria/Senegal/Tunisia, 1987)

Directed by Sembene Ousmane. A fact-based film which deals with African troops in the French army at the end of World War II, a turning point in African history when the colonial myth of white superiority began to collapse and an African consciousness emerged. The film opens with repatriated Senegalese infantrymen being placed in a transit camp ostensibly for temporary internment before discharge. The real purpose, however, is to reestablish the structures of white oppression disrupted by the war. A dispute over pay soon escalates into full-scale rebellion, culminating in a massacre.

Ceddo (Senegal, 1978)

Directed by Sembene Ousmane. A religious conflict characterizes this drama set in late 19th century Senegal when the local king becomes a Muslim and decides to break up the small Catholic congregation in the village of the Ceddo. The people revolt against the change and kidnap a princess. Eventually the kidnappers are killed and the princess is brought back to the village to confront the Imam, as all the villagers are being given Muslim names.

Check Mate (Nigeria 2009)

Directed by Shirley Frimpong-Manso. Cast: Nadia Buari, Naa Ashorkor Mensah-Doku, Ekow Blankson, Senanu Gbedawd. Kwame has made all the right moves in his life; a good job, a beautiful devoted wife, an adorable child, and an impending promotion as a senior customs officer at the airport. Hanging out on a weekend, he succumbs to a bet to seduce the attractive, sexy Caroline.

Chelsea (Nigeria, 2010)

Directed by Moses Inwang. Cast: Majid Michel, Nadia Buari, John Dumelo, Brenda Bonsu. Will Chelsea be able to change the perceptions of Sly, who believes engagements are only fleeting encounters with no lasting meaning. 148 min.

Clando (Clandestine). (Cameroon, 1996)

A film by Jean-Marie Teno. Sobgui, a former computer programmer, drives a "clando" cab in Douala, Cameroon's streets. He is clandestine, not just because his cab is unlicensed, but because he is hiding from his past. When a radical political group involves him in a revenge slaying of an informer, Sobgui knows that it is time to get out of Douala. He gets his chance when he is asked to find a wealthy villager's son in Germany. The film represents a dilemma facing educated Africans: whether to work to change the autocratic regimes at home or seek their fortunes abroad.

Dakan (Destiny) (Guinea | France, 1997)

Directed by Mohamed Camara. Dakan is the first feature film on homosexuality from sub-Saharan Africa. When Sori and Manga tell their parents they are in love they try to "cure" their sons by separating them. Manga is even subjected to a traditional purification ceremony in his ancestral village. The two sons dutifully try to live heterosexual lives. Sori marries a village woman and Manga becomes engaged to a white woman but Manga and Sori inevitably reunite to live out their "destiny". In French and Mandikan with English subtitles. 1997. 87 min.

Dangerous Angels (Nigeria, 2009)

Directed by Ikechukwu Onyeka. Cast: Ini Edo, Nonso Diobi, Tonto Dike, Hamila Abubakar. Foxy mama is the head of a female cult group on campus called The Jezebels. The Jezebels are feared on campus and no one dares to cross them, no one except Amanda that is. Amanda has a run in with Foxy and they clash immediately. The rivalry becomes all the more serious when Foxy realises that Amanda is the daughter of her father's arch enemy. She is ready to exact her revenge on her father's behalf and so the war begins. 131 min.

Daresalam (Burkina Faso, Chad, France, 2000)

Directed by Issa Serge Coelo. This feature film focuses on two young men caught up in the Civil War in Chad. It begins in the 1970s with the story of Koni and Djimi as the central government invades their village and insists on buying the farmer's millet at below market and then browbeats the villagers into paying taxes to help fight the war. When they resist the government burns the village and massacres the inhabitants. Djimi, wounded, remains behind with the hard-liners, while Koni joins a faction which supports compromise with the government.

Dark City. (South Africa, 1990)

Directed by Chris Curling. A political thriller set in South Africa in the mid 1980s. 98 min.