Africa on the Piazza film programme - Ning

By Steven Alexander,2014-09-30 13:35
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Africa on the Piazza film programme - Ning

    Yinka Shonibare’s and John Akomfrah’s

    2012 Deloitte Ignite


    stndFILM PROGRAME: 1 & 2 September

    This weekend come and watch a phenomenal two day series of free open air screenings in London’s Covent Garden Piazza programmed by the award winning artists John Akomfrah and Yinka Shonibare for the 2012 Deloitte Ignite at the Royal Opera House.

    Presenting some of the most exciting, sophisticated and innovative films coming out of the Africa , the 2012 Deloitte Ignite Africa on the Piazza film programme is an incredible and rare mixture from funky African classics to blockbusters of today. Featuring films by cinema masters such as Djibril Diop Mambety and Souleymane Cisse to a generation of new women directors Moufida Tlatli and Sara Belcher. The 2012 Deloitte Ignite film

    programme is bringing the celluloid heart beat of Africa to the Royal Opera House's Covent Garden Piazza area in this amazing two day open air programme.

    Come and see African cinema as you have never seen it before. A fantastic, free, open air film experience; all day Saturday and Sunday in the Convent Garden Piazza. See you there !


    Programme 1

    Starts @ 14.00pm: showcasing Pumzi & A Screaming Man


    Wanuri Kahiu

    2009/21 mins/ Science Fiction/ Kenya

     African science fiction is beautiful and poignant! Pumzi is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which water scarcity has extinguished life above ground.

    Asha lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council. When she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants an old seed in it and the seed immediately starts germinating. Asha appeals to the Council to grant her permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside, but the Council denies her exit visa. How can she save the planet?

A Screaming Man

     Mahamat Saleh Haroun

    2008/92 mins/Chad

     This is a multi award winning film about the choices that we make in life.

    Adam is a former swimming medalist, now a 60-year-old hotel employee and head "pool man," who maintains this calm oasis as much for his own benefit as for the hotel's Western guests. The tensions between Adam and Abdel, his adult son, are exacerbated when he loses his job to the younger man and their fragile world begins to crumble. Complicating their relationship is the fact that rebel forces are at war with the authorities, and civilians like Adam and Abdel are under pressure to support the government. With subtlety and grace, Haroun's modern fable eschews histrionics for a smart, restrained, yet deeply feeling drama in which personality, politics and place define its characters' reality. A SCREAMING MAN was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival


    Programme 2

    Starts @ 16.15pm: showcasing Mwansa The Great & Yeelen

Mwansa The Great

    Rungano Nyoni

    2011/24 mins/Zambia

     Mwansa The Great is the story of an eight year old boy who aspires to be a hero and embarks upon a journey to prove his greatness - with unexpected consequences. The film gives a moving insight into childhood where fantasy jostles with reality as a young boy's imagination transforms everyday life.


    Souleymane Cisse

    1987/105 mins/Malie

     This adaptation of an ancient oral legend from Mali, is one the most acclaimed and widely seen African films ever made. An Oedipal story mixed with magic, Yeelen is as visually stunning as anything from Hollywood.

    Set in the powerful Mali Empire of the 13th century, Yeelen follows the journey of Nianankoro, a young warrior who must battle the powerful Komo cult. Nianankoro's greatest enemy is his own father, a dangerous and corrupt wizard who uses his dark magic to try and destroy his son. Traveling over the arid Bambara, Fulani and Dogan lands of ancient West Africa, Nianankoro eventually comes face to face with his father in a final fatal showdown Cisse’s extraordinary use of landscapes and light produces a unique and striking cinematic style.

Parental Guidance is suggested:

    This film is suitable for General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. The film contains some mature themes, some moderate violence and some natural nudity, in the context of the story and of the culture involved and is not gratuitous.



    18.40pm - 19.25pm: showcasing “The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun”

La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil

    (The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun)

    Djibril Diop Mambety


    Made by one of Africa’s cinema visionaries, La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil is a film exalting the lives and promise found among ordinary Senegalese. It depicts a young beggar girl, Sili, who on crutches, confidently makes her way through a city of obstacles, becoming the first girl to sell a daily newspaper in the competitive world of young male newspaper vendors. Mambéty dedicated this film to "the courage of street children". The scenes are expertly played by non-professional actors and with the participation of the street children.



    19.40pm-22.00 pm: showcasing “Area Boys” & “Otelo Burning”

Area Boys

    Omelihu Nwanguma

    2007/27 mins/Nigeria

     Exploding onto the screen from Africa’s most populous nation and its energetic capital Lagos,

    is Area Boy’s. A tale of friendship, hardship and gangs. Having grown up in a world where corruption and greed override all else, lifelong friends Bode and Obi decide to cut their ties with their boss (Dele) and form their own partnership to escape from the corruption that surrounds them. But their plans backfire before they begin when they decide to invade Dele’s turf and he finds out about it. The friends flee from the city and Dele’s henchmen, discovering the true value of friendship.

Parental Guidance is suggested:

    This film is suitable for General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. The film contains some scenes of violence and strong language, in the context of the story and of the culture involved.

Otelo Burning

    Sara Belcher

    2012/112 mins/South Africa)

    Africans dream of surfing too! It is 1989 and the struggle against apartheid has reached its peak. The story starts when 16 year old Otelo Buthelezi, his younger brother Ntwe and his best friend New Year are invited to the beach-house where their new friend's mother is a domestic worker.

    They watch Mandla Modise surf and he takes the boys into a world previously closed to them. It is exactly the opposite of the township where they live - a place under a constant and growing threat from political violence fuelled by Inkatha hostel dwellers on one side, and United Democratic Front comrades on the other. For the boys, who previously had a deep-seated fear of the sea, "flying on water" comes to represent freedom, and they are sold.

    Soon, everyone recognises that Otelo is truly gifted on the water, a surfing star in the making. An older white man, Kurt Struely, approaches the boys, certain of their potential. He invites them to his home to watch some professional surfers on video. He also paints an enticing picture of the life they could have if they learn to master the waves. With practice, Otelo soon outshines his friend, Mandla, whose resentment builds even more when Dezi, New Year's younger sister, falls for Otelo.

    On the day Nelson Mandela steps out of prison for the first time in 27 years, the young boy makes a choice that will change his life forever.

    The film opened the 32nd Durban International Film Festival. In 2011 and went on to win 2 awards at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2012.

Parental Guidance is suggested:

    This film is suitable for General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. The film contains some violence and some strong language, in the context of the story and of the culture involved.


    PROGRAMME 5 - Midday 14.08pm

Silences of the Palace

    Moufida Tlatli

    1994/128 min/Tunisia

    One of the most beautiful films and sensitive film to have ever been made on the continent! Silences of the Palace is not to be missed in this very rare screening.

Set in 1950’s Tunisia, the news that Prince Sid'Ali has died suddenly confronts 25-year-old Ali with her

    past again. During the funeral she visits the palace where she spent her childhood and adolescence and where her mother was a servant. She never knew her father - he may even have been the prince. As she wanders the deserted corridors, the images of her youth return, such as her forbidden friendship with Sarra, daughter of one of the princes, who taught Alia to love the lute. She also re-experiences the painful and silent quest for the identity of her father and remembers her mother, the brave and beautiful Khedija, who protected Alia against the furtive desires of the prince. SILENCES OF THE PALACE delicately reveals the lonely life of the women who were locked up for life in an Arab palace, half slaves, half mistresses.

Parental Guidance is suggested:

    This film is suitable for General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. The film deals with mature themes and has some sexual scenes in the context of the story and of the culture involved.



    14.20pm- 16.50pm: Showcasing “The Adventure’s Return” &


The Adventurer’s Return

    Mustapha Alassane

    1966/34 min/NIGER

    The most fantastic African Western ever made! A man returns home to his village with Western cowboy clothes, hats and guns. He forms a cowboy posse with his old buddies. Getting into their roles, the black cowboys spread panic throughout the village with brawls, robberies and disrespect to the old African ways.


    Djibril Diop Mambetey

    1973/113 mins/Senegal

     One of the great masters of African cinema, Djibril Diop Mambetey is at work here.

    Hyenes is the story of The town of Colobane. It is a town that has been bypassed by everything imaginable –the trains don’t even stop there anymore. But when the legendary Linguere Ramatou returns to the place she fled 30 years before, the train does come to a halt. So does the desperate town, eager to welcome back its most famous daughter, who is 'richer than the World Bank'.

    Once beautiful, now crippled, Ramatou seems inclined to generosity, but it comes with shocking 'strings attached'. She’ll donate millions only if Colobane rids itself of her former lover, the genial grocer and mayor-to-be, Draman. As part of her campaign of revenge, Ramatou inundates the hapless and grasping citizens with fans, fridges, fairground attractions and TV sets, so making hyenas of them all. Richly allegorical, and with the force of a parable about corruption, Mambety here addresses a favourite theme, the corruption of Africa by past and present colonisation, all the while dazzling with swirls of reality and hyper-unreality.



    17.00pm-19.00pm: Showcasing “Nora” & “Waiting For Happiness”


    Alla Kovgan and David Hinton

    2008/35 mins/Zimbabwe

    You will be astonished by this beautiful dance centred film. Based on the life of Zimbabwean-born dancer Nora Chipaumire, this film is part biopic, part fable, part dramatic cinema and part dance film. Filmed on location in Southern Africa and lusciously coloured, Nora engages with concepts of self and memory, and the active process of remembering, using a language of dance. The traditional tools of filmmakinglighting and landscape, pacing and

    movementdraw out story and character, and a searing performance by Chipaumire as herself, her mother, her father and other characters provides a strong emotional centre. Tableaux are carefully composed within the frame and in a gesture towards silent film scenes are punctuated by brief and sometimes humorous intertitles.

Waiting For Happiness (Heremakono)

    Abderrahman Sissako

    2002/93 mins/Mauritania

    This is a contemporary classic and award winning film. On his way to a better life in Europe, Abdallah’s voyage is interrupted by a stop over in Nouadhibou, an insignificant fishing village

    in Mauretania where no one comes to stay for longer than they have to.

    While waiting to board the boat to Europe, the young boy does his best to adapt to the slow village life, by learning a few words in the local language and observing the lives of the villagers.

    The wait is as much part of the journey as movement is, and life is still going on in places that most have never heard of, but some are forced to remain in while waiting for their turn to reach happiness. Sissako’s second feature film premiered and was awarded in Cannes in

    2002 and has won numerous other awards since.

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