Africa Film WebMeeting

Message from: zeinabu irene davis (
About: Re: Query: What films for teaching African humanities

Thu, 23 Oct 1997 07:41:31 -0700 (PDT)

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    Originally from: zeinabu irene davis <>
    Originally dated: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 07:41:31 -0700 (PDT)

    On first glance, I noticed two things.

    One, as an African American, I have alot of problems with "Warrior Marks".
    Not to get into a long discussion of it here, but I question its
    perspective in "speaking for" African women. Alice Walker may be a
    wonderful writer and person, but she does not necessarily understand all of
    the issues she purports to address in this film. Though technically much
    "rougher" I would recommend "Fire Eyes" by Soraya Mire, a Somalian woman
    filmmaker who endured(s) female genital mutilation.

    To add to the list:
    Hyenas - Mambety available from Cal. Newsreel
    Comments: I know this is a wonderful film, but I am always amazed at how
    well all my students respond to this film. Provokes interesting
    discussions on contemporary African society, folklore, gender roles and

    Ceddo - Sembene, available from New Yorker
    Comments: I know that this film is long, and sometimes I don't screen the
    whole thing in class; but this is one of the best films that illustrate the
    tension between Islam, the slave trade and traditional African cultures.

    Comment on one from list:
    Sankofa - Gerima, available from Mypheduh
    Comments: To be blunt: This is a hard film for students. White students
    think it's "too angry". It is a very emotional film for Black students
    (many folks including myself often weep with and at all or some of the
    film). Very hard to discuss immediately after screening. BEST ADVICE:
    Prepare students before you screen this one. You'll get great, thought
    provoking discussions if you put historical events into context when
    showing this film. A good companion piece is Zajota and the Boogie Spirit
    by Ayoka Chenzira.

    >Originally from: <>
    >Originally dated: Wed, 22 Oct 97 08:28:00 PDT
    >cross posted from owner-h-afrlitcine
    > From: David Wiley <>
    > The African Studies Center Michigan State will hold a workshop on "African
    > Film and Videotape in the Arts and Humanities Curriculum" on November
    > 1997. A second workshop in March, 1998 will concern "African Film and
    > Videotape for Language Instruction" (French, Port., African languages,
    > etc.).
    > As we assemble film descriptions and reviews for the workshop, we are
    > wondering what cinema and video programs others in the teaching community
    > are using for introducing Africa.
    > More specifically, what cinema, films, and videos are most useful in
    > courses to illustrate:
    > 1) African History and Folklore
    > - pre-colonial (kingdoms, segmentary lineage societies, etc.)
    > - colonial (British, French, Portuguese, German, and settler)
    > - contemporary African history
    > - Africa in global history
    > 2) African and Comparative Literature - in English, French, Portuguese,
    > Arabic, other
    > 3) African Music - "traditional" and contemporary
    > 4) African Arts - all genres
    > 5) African Religion and Philosophy - "African religions," Christianity,
    > Islam, Independency, etc.
    > When you mention a film or cinema production, say what you find it most
    > useful to illustrate as well as any weaknesses.
    > We are planning to reference the following African cinema, but will share
    > any other ideas from your comments with those at the workshop.
    > _Camera d'Afrique_ _Sankofa_
    > _In Darkest Hollywood_ _Asientos_
    > _La Vie Est Belle_ _Camp de Thiaroye_
    > _Warrior Marks_ _Wend Kuuni_
    > _Women with Open Eyes_ _Yaaba_
    > _These Hands_ _Yeelen_
    > _Monday's Girls_ _Keita_
    > _Selbe_ _Quatier Mozart_
    > _Finzan_ _Aristotle's Plot_
    > _Emitai_ _Last Angel of History_
    > _Battle of Algiers_ _Handsworth Songs_
    > _Sambizange_ _Touki Bouki_
    > _Deluge_ _Allah Tontou_
    > _Harvest: 3,000 Years_ _Lumumba_
    > Conference Details
    > The Center will welcome faculty, K-12 teachers, and graduate students to
    > the workshop. It is designed to strengthen and improve undergraduate
    > instruction by providing college & university faculty with methods and
    > strategies for incorporating high quality film and video on Africa into
    > courses in the arts and humanities. Anyone interested in attending the
    > workshop should contact John Metzler <metzler@pilot.msu. edu> or Carmela
    > Garritano <> at the Center, (517) 353-1700.
    > We look forward to your suggestions, and we shall credit your
    > Sincerely,
    > Dave Wiley, John Metzler
    > ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
    > David Wiley, Professor of Sociology and
    > Director, African Studies Center,
    > 100 CIP, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1035
    > Phone ( Area 517): 353-1700 - Fax: 432-1209 - Home: 332-0333

    Zeinabu irene Davis
    Associate Professor
    Northwestern University
    Department of Radio-TV-Film
    1905 Sheridan Road
    Evanston, IL 60208-2270
    Phone: 847-467-1164
    Fax: 847-467-2389

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