UC Berkeley Library

African Studies General Overviews

Discovering the Music of Africa

Describes music and rhythms of Africa, especially Ghana, and how they are used both as music and means of communication. Demonstrates the complex rhythmical music of the bells, rattles and the drums; shows several traditional dances. 198? 22 min.

Dreaming of Africa: the Life of Frederick Selous

Looks at the life of Africa's premier professional big game hunter and explorer, Frederick Selous. Arriving in Africa as a teenager he began to keep a diary of his exploits as he learned to hunt beginning by hunting elephants in Matabeleland. From these experiences he developed a series of books whose popularity made him a celebrated author. Features archival film footage with commentary by authors, academics and historians. Supplementary short issued with: The Adventures of young Indiana Jones. 2007. 25 min.

Economic Recovery in Africa

Originally produced in 1998. Dist.: Films Media Group.West Africa, the Fabric of Reform. The Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon, and Mali are West African countries that are undergoing economic reform. With the help of the International Monetary Fund, they are overcoming such obstacles as corruption, overregulated markets, and government overspending that have stunted the economic growth of this region for decades. This program presents the IMF and the application of economic theory in Africa, with all of its unique problems. 32 min.

Envisioning African Futures: DystopianPredictions and Humanitarian Projects. (Emeritus Lecture Series in Anthropology; 1997)

Contents: Introduction / S. Brandes (8 min.) -- Introduction /John U. Obgu (21 min.) -- Introduction (3 min.) -- Envisioning African futures / L. Malkki (56 min.). Hosts/commentators: Stanley Brandes, John U. Ogbu.

Everyone's Child.

Through the tragic story of one Zimbabwean family devastated by AIDS, the film makes an eloquent call for action on behalf of Africa's millions of orphaned children. The film was produced in direct response to the prediction that by the year 2000 there will be over 10 million AIDS orphans on the African continent. At the same time, the film focuses attention on millions of other children left homeless by civil wars or abandoned because their parents could not support them. 1996. 83 min.

Face of the Gods.

Robert Farris Thompson, curator. Tour of an exhibition which explores the altar as a focus of ritual and art. Organized by The Museum for African Art, New York, the exhibition examines artistic traditions transmitted from Africa to the Western Hemisphere during the last two centuries through altars and over 120 works of sculpture, pottery, and textiles.

Family Across the Sea.

Film examines how scholars have uncovered the remarkable connections between the Gullah people of South Carolina and the people of Sierra Leone and how the Gullahs incorporated many aspects of African culture including the language into the daily life of the plantations. Film concludes with a delegation of Gullah people traveling from the United States to Sierra Leone to trace the roots of their heritage. 1991. 56 min.
web web sites:Description from California Newsreel catalog

Fire Eyes

Explores the socio-economic, psychological and medical consequences of the ancient custom of female circumcision which is routed in deep cultural mores and performed on more than 80 million women worldwide. In this film, several women who have experienced this "rite of passage" voice varying points of view on perpetuating the practice. Testimony from doctors detail the various forms of female circumcision and the horrendous ob/gyn problems that result. 1994. 60 min.

Freedom Now, 1947 (The People's Century )

In 1947, 160 years of British rule came to an end as India became the world's largest democracy, inspiring the fight for freedom on another continent. This film talks with the people who witnessed and participated in the struggle for independence in India and Africa. While Mohandas Gandhi showed the world how the masses could successfully defy their imperial masters, his example spurred others on: European empires in Africa and Asia began to crumble, and in short order, Ghana, Kenya, Algeria, Mozambique, and dozens more would win their freedom. 1998. 56 min.

Garifuna Journey

Presents the rich culture and fascinating trajectory of the Garifuna of Belize--descendents of Carib Indians and Africans who successfully resisted slavery. This celebratory documentary presents their history from both the outsider and insider vantage points, the result of a collaboration between the Chicago filmmakers and the Garifuna community. Testimonials by members of the Garifuna are intercut with scenes of cooking, dancing, eating, expressions of their spirituality and other rituals. A documentary by Andrea E. Leland and Kathy L. Berger.