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African Cinema

Faat Kine (Senegal, 2000)

Directed by Sembene Ousmane. This deceptively light domestic drama of Faat Kine, a gas station operator, is in reality a tribute to the everyday heroism of African women. It follows her through several average days, interspersed with brief flashbacks that recall the struggles that made her quiet achievements possible. Not so much a drama of events, as a drama of recognition, it becomes clear that traditional roles between African men and women no longer apply and that it is time to start calling things by their real names. In French and Wolof with English subtitles. 121 min.

Faces of Women (Visages de femmes) (France / Ivory Coast, 1985)

Directed by Desire Ecare. Cast: Sidiki Bakaba, Kouado Brou, Albertine NGuessan. Two politically and stylistically adventurous films exploring the links between feminism, economics and tradition in modern-day Africa. In these intriguing stories about women in today's Africa, the first film centers on a young woman who is unhappily married and is attracted to her visiting brother-in-law. The second story centers around a successful businesswoman who tries to open a new restaurant, but runs into difficulties that only her daughter's traditional wiles can solve. 103 min.

Faraw! Une Mère des Sables (Mother of the Dunes)(Mali, 1997)

Directed by Abdoulaye Ascofare. With three difficult children, a crippled, mentally unbalanced husband and no steady income, Zamiatou is poorest woman in an impoverished desert village in Mali. She could have plenty of money to survive if she would sell her daughter as a prostitute to nearby French settlers, but she refuses to do so. Unfortunately, her family situation continues to spiral downward and she is finally forced to seek outside help. In Songhai with English subtitles. 90 min.

Final War (Nigeria, 2010?)

Directed by Andy Nwakalor. Cast: Omotola Ekehinde, Uche Jumbo, Francis Duru, Maureen Solomon. In this sequel to Total War, Susan still loves Henry, a minister of God with a murderously dark past, now arrested and facing deportion to Liberia for judgment. 128 min.

Fintar o Destino (Dribbling Fate) (Portugal | Cape Verde, 1998)

Directed by Fernando Vendrell. A sports film with a distinctly African twist. On the Cape Verde islands a small-town grocery-store owner Mane recalls his past glories with the national soccer team Benefica during the '50's. Obsessed with the sport, Mane attempts to train a local team without much success, so when he sees promise in young Kalu he goes for broke, spending his wife's savings on tickets to Lisbon in hopes of connecting Kalu with Benefica. In French and Creole with English subtitles. 77 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Finzan: A Dance for the Heroes. (Mali, 1990)

A film by Cheick Oumar Sissoko. Tells the story of two women's rebellion. Nanyuma, a young widow, refuses her brother-in-law, the village fool, when he asserts his traditional right to "inherit" her. Fili, a young girl sent from the city by her conservative father, is brutally circumcised by the village women who are scandalized that she resists the age old custom. In Bambara with English subtitles. 107 min.

Flame. (Zimbabwe, 1996)

Directed by Ingrid Sinclair. One of the most controversial films ever produced in Africa (seized by the police during editing), this feature film not only exposes past abuses but continuing divisions within Zimbabwean society, especially against women and peasants. It is the story of two close friends, Florence and Nyasha as they train and fight as soldiers in the Zimbabwean liberation struggle, but after liberation find their lives little changed. 85 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Forgiveness (South Africa, 2004)

Directed by Ian Gabriel. Tertius Coetzee, a white former South African policeman who tortured and killed black anti-apartheid activists including the African National Congress member Daniel Grootboom, seeks out the Grootboom family to ask for forgiveness. 113 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
web web sites: Description from California Newsreel catalog

Genesis (La Genèse) (France | Mali, 1999)

Directed by Cheick Oumar Sissoko. Genesis is given a new spin which recasts a famous story by relocating it in the nation of Mali and using a cast of African actors. Covering Chapters 23-37, it recounts the story of Esau whose birthright is stolen by his brother Jacob in exchange for a plate of beans. This allegorical tale combines an accurate interpretation of the Biblical story with relevant allusions to African history and culture. In Bambara with English subtitles. 102 min.

Green Card (Kenya, 2004)

Directed by Brutus Sirucha. Cast: Sam Khiu, Frederick Indimuli, Asha Khamisi, Sharon Keino. Robert and William are university graduates in computer engineering and marketing respectively. Their search for a well paying job has yielded nothing. In the meantime they work as casuals at a savings SACCO, where they come up with an idea to raise funds so that they can pay for green card applications through an agent. This is a Kenyan example of the straight-to-video production model. 75 min.