UC Berkeley Library

African Studies General Overviews

Germanin: Die Geschichte einer kolonialen Tat

A production recounting in patriotic terms Germany's work in Africa to find a cure for sleeping sickness. Originally produced in 1943. In German without titles. 96 min.

Guinea Worm: The End of the Road.

Examines the efforts of Dr. Donald Hopkins and others who are leading the fight to eradicate the Guinea worm, a water-borne parasite which lodges in the lower extremities of the human body, matures, and then burrows out through the skin. Once prevalent throughout Asia, Africa, and the Americas, 100 million people in India, Pakistan, and western Africa are still at high risk of suffering this disease. c1992. 115 min.
web web sites:Description from First Run/Icarus catalog

Hommage a� noir.

A visual, musical poem to the people of contemporary Africa featuring no dialogue but accompanied by a continuous soundtrack, a seamless fusion of traditional rhythms and cutting edge electronica. Shot entirely on location in Cameroon, the journey yields indelible impressions of a remarkable cross-section of society, from nobility to the masses, from western influences to ancient rituals. Written & directed by Ralf Schmerberg. 1996. 48 min.

Hopes on the Horizon

Chronicles the rise of pro-democracy movements in six African countries during the 1990s: Benin: a peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy -- Nigeria: a human rights movement challenges the military -- Rwanda: Historians build a platform for dialogue -- Morocco: Women's rights activists reform the traditional religious family code -- Mozambique: Agricultural cooperatives advocate economic reform and land rights -- South Africa: A township unites to promote quality education. 2001. 115 min.

In and Out of Africa.

During the colonial period in the 1920's, European interest in collecting African art stimulated a transnational trade between Africa and the West. Today this multi-million dollar trade lies largely in the hands of Muslim merchants. This is the story about one merchant. Directed by Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor ; based on original research by Christopher B. Steiner. 1992. 59 min.

Le Malentendu Colonial (A Colonial Misunderstanding)

The filmmaker looks at European colonialism in Africa through the lens of Christian evangelism as the model for the relationship between Africa and western countries today. The history of German missionaries in Namibia in the 19th and 20th centuries is discussed by African and German historians and theologians, revealing how colonialism destroyed African beliefs and social systems and replaced them with European ones. A film by Jean-Marie Teno. 2004. 73 min.

Life Story of an African Inyanga.

This docu-drama portrays the selection and life-long education of an Inyanga, an African healer who dispenses traditional herbal remedies. The film examines the preparation and the use of traditional medicines, the diagnosis and treatment of patients, and the metaphysics and cosmology of African beliefs regarding the powers of the Inyanga. 1986. 27 min.
web web sites:Description from Cinema Guild catalog

Mama Benz, an African Market Woman (God Gave Her a Mercedes Benz)

The colorful markets of Africa are often dominated by strong older women, who control prices and determine who can buy their goods. These women are affectionately referred to as Mama Benz because each one has a chauffeured driven Mercedes Benz. This film focuses on one woman who presides over the cloth market in Lome, Togo. 1993? 48 min.
web web sites:Description from Filmakers' Library catalog


Based on field research done by Joseph Ssennyonga (1974-76) as part of a cross cultural study of population growth and rural poverty, organized by T. Scarlett Epstein, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, England. 1976. 60 min.

Marriage of Marimu = Arusi ya Mariamu.

Dramatization reflecting traditional African cultural patterns, focusing on healing with herbal remedies. 1985. 36 min.