UC Berkeley Library

African Cinema

Le Damier Papa National Oye! (The Draughtsmen Clash) (France | Zaire | Gabon, 1996)

Directed by Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda. A wicked political satire about African dictators, this film tells the story of the president of a fictitious African nation who engages in a game of checkers with his political opponents. When he looses the game, the fate of the winners is not exactly unexpected in this hilarious send-up of living under tyranny. In French with English subtitles. 40 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Le Grand Blanc de Lambarene (The Great White Man of Lambarene). (Gabon | Cameroon | France, 1994)

Director: Bassek Ba Kobhio Cast: Andre Wilms, Marisa Berenson, Alex Descas, Elisabeth Bourgine, Philippe Maury Cameroonian filmmaker Bassek Ba Kobhio provides a revisionist perspective on Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize winner and secular saint of the colonial era. Shot on the site of Schweitzer's hospital in Gabon, the film reveals him to be a man blinded to the people around him by his own spiritual self-absorption and arrogance. His paternalism leads him to cast Africans as childlike primitives to be protected from modernity, which for Ba 1995. 89 min.

Life on Earth (La Vie sur Terre) (Mali | Mauritania | France, 1998)

Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako. A fictional documentary by the filmmaker which points out the significance of the start of the 21st century and our so-called Information Age while the people in his father's village in Mali are still struggling to enter the 20th century. Originally broadcast in 1998 as part of a European television program: 2000 vu par. In French and Bambara with English subtitles. 61 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Living Without You (Nigeria, 2005)

Directed by Henry Czar Ejeta. Cast: Ini Edo, Mike Ezuruonye, Ashley Nwosu, Doreen (Dorin) Oyesanya. A brilliant student desparately in love with Peggy but unable to find the courage to express his feelings, solicits the help of his best friend to woo her for him. 105 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database


Directed by Arvie Luthra. Produced in South Africa, this short film tells the story of Lucky, an AIDS orphan desperate to leave his rural Zulu village for the bright lights of Durban. Full of excitement and hope, he has to learn about life the hard way through an unlikely bond with a racist Indian neighbor. 18 min.

Madame Brouette (L'Extraordinaire destin de Madame Brouette) (Canada / Senegal / France, 2002)

Directed by Moussa Sene Absa. Cast: Rokhaya Niang, Aboubacar Sadikh Ba, Kadiatou Sy, Nd`eye Seneba Seck, Ousseynou Diop. Madame Brouette is a proud and independent mother and street vendor in Senegal who has aspirations to rise out of poverty by opening a cafe, until her boyfriend is found murdered and she is the only suspect. In French with optional English subtitles. 104 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Malooned (Kenya, 2007)

Directed by Bob Nyanja. Cast: Gabriella Mutia (Di), Godfrey Odhiambo (Luther), Charles Bukeko. Di, 28, beautiful, confident and just a bit spoilt gets trapped in a ladies toilet of the 15th floor of a Nairobi skyscraper with Luther on an Easter weekend of which the Monday would have been her wedding day. From their first meeting, Luther can see nothing makes this woman happy, especially the thought of spending her Easter weekend with him in a toilet.

Malunde (South Africa / Germany, 2001)

Directed by Stefanie Sycholt. Cast: Ian Roberts, Kagiso Mtetwa, Winston Ntshona, Mosa Kaiser, Wilmien Roussouw. Wonderboy is a paint-huffing, young black boy living os the streets of Johannesburg. Kobus is a middle-aged Afrikaner soldier who is down on his luck, trying to sell furniture wax. Their paths cross when Wonderboy takes refuge from an angry drug dealer in Kobus's van. Kobus unwittingly drives to Cape Town with Wonderboy in tow. While Kobus is hoping to sell some wax, Wonderboy is hoping to find his mother there. The two soon form a bond in spite of themselves. 113 min.

Mandabi. (France | Senegal, 1968)

Directed by Ousmane Sembene. This story about a man in Senegal who receives a money order that threatens to destroy the traditional fabric of his life, is used to point out the problems of modern Africa as a civilization struggling to recapture its own rich heritage after colonial corruption. In Wolof with English subtitles. 90 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Reviews and articles:
Niang, Sada. "Mandabi (The Money Order)." (movie reviews) African Arts Jan 1993 v26 n1 p83(3)


Directed by Oliver Schmitz. Cast: Thomas Mogotlane, Marcel Van Heerden, Thembi Mtshali, Dolly Rathebe, Peter Sephuma, Darlington Michaels, Eugene Majola, Panic is a mapantsula, a Zulu term for a petty crook. Set in South Africa, he is imprisoned with Anti-apartheid activists. There he is transformed into a man willing to become involved with social change. 100 min. ;