UC Berkeley Library

African Studies General Overviews

Sharing is Unity = Ushirika Ni Umoja.

Documentary which emphasizes the sense of community that still remains in contemporary African village life. First work is a dramatization reflecting traditional African cultural patterns, focusing on healing with herbal remedies. The second work is a documentary which emphasizes the sense of community that still remains in contemporary African village life. 1985. 22 min.


Records Martin and Osa Johnson's expedition to East Africa, the chief purpose of which was to capture on film rapidly disappearing African wildlife as well as East African peoples (Samburu, Dorobo, etc.) and their customs. Includes extensive footage of elephants, giraffes and lions. Also shown is the lion-spearing ceremony perfomed by the Lumbwa (part of this sequence was filmed by Carl Akeley and Alfred J. Klein). The film opens with an introduction by Martin and Osa Johnson. Originally released in 1928. Filmed in East Africa during the second Martin Johnson African Expedition, 1923-1928.

Study in Africa: New Opportunities for American Students

An overview of several U.S. study programs at a variety of African campuses including interviews with African university faculty, administrators and students. American students studying in Africa answer a number of questions. 1997. 27 min.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Realm of Reversals.(Power of Place: World Regional Geography; 19-20)

Prog. 19. The legacy of colonization: Ivory Coast, the legacy of colonialism. Gabon, a future in oil?--Prog. Understanding sickness, overcoming prejudice: Kenya, understanding sickness. South Africa, this land is my land.

Sworn to the Drum: A Tribute to Francisco Aguabella.

A film-portrait of the Afro-Cuban master drummer, Francisco Aguabella. Born in Cuba, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1957 where he made outstanding contributions to Latin popular music while maintaining his roots in traditional Afro-Cuban religious drumming. Film explores Aguabella's role both as a sacred drummer and a figure of historical influence in Latin Jazz, Pop and Fusion. Included are many interviews with musicians who have worked with him an have been influence by his music. A film by Les Blank. 1995. 35 min.
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The Africans: A Triple Heritage: A Commentary

Explores history, culture, and politics of Africa. Includes discussions of the influences of Islam and the West. Written and presented by Ali A. Mazrui. 9 parts. 1986. 58 min each. ; This series available for online viewing The Nature of a Continent (Part 1) Examines Africa as the birthplace of mankind and discusses the impact of geography on African history, including the role of the Nile in the origin of civilization and the introduction of Islam to Africa through its Arabic borders.

The Digital Dump: Exporting Re-use and Abuse to Africa

Exposes the ugly underbelly of what is thought to be an escalating global trade in toxic, obsolete, discarded computers and other e-scrap collected in North America and Europe and sent to developing countries by waste brokers and so-called recyclers.

The Flying Doctors of East Africa (Die Fliegenden Arzte von Ostafrika)

Shows an independent group of physicians in remote areas of East Africa, and the difficulties they encounter in treating the African patients, who prefer local traditional remedies. A film by Werner Herzog. 44 min. ;

The Forgotten Roots (La Raiz olvidada)

Details the history of Mexico's often-overlooked African populations. Drawing on interviews and archival imagery, the film takes us from the slavery of the colonial era to today's Afro-Mexican communities in Guerrero, Oaxaco, Campeche, Morelos and Veracruz. It argues that Mexico's famous mestizaje includes the important contibutions of African groups, as well as Spaniards and Indians. 1998. 49 min.

The Life and Times of Sara Baartman: "The Hottentot Venus".

A documentary film on the life of a Khoi Khoi woman who was taken from South Africa in 1810 and exhibited as a freak across Britain. The image and ideas for "The Hottentot Venus" (particularly the interest in her sexual anatomy) swept through British popular culture. A court battle waged by abolitionists to free her from her exhibitors failed. In 1814, a year before her death, she was taken to France and became the object of scientific research that formed the bedrock of European ideas about black female sexuality. Directed by Zola Maseko. c1998. 52 min.