Sunday, February 5, 2012

Africana Film Series for 2012

Greetings Everyone!

Here is the schedule for this year's ACPHS Africana Film Series (Year #8). Something new in this year's series is a live drumming performance and discussion from Senegalese drummer Babacar Biaye at our second showing.

In addition to this year's poster, I have also attached improved directions for finding the Student Center (where the films are shown). The school's Multicultural Club plans to offer food one evening, but it is not yet certain which evening this will be. Otherwise there will be the usual selection of free pizza.

Hope to see you there!

Eighth Annual Africana Film Series (2012)

Tuesdays on February 07, 14, and 21, 2012
7:00 p.m.
Student Center, Room 202
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

 07 February 2012
Four Years across Africa by Bike at 7 p.m.
Umgidi ("Shadow Dancing") at 8 p.m.

14 February 2012
Drumming with Senegalese Drummer Babacar Biaye
Si-Gueriki ("The Queen Mother") 7 p.m.

21 February 2012
Long Night's Journey into Day: South Africa's Search for Truth & Reconciliation at 7 p.m.

February 07 beginning at 7 pm

Four Years across Africa by Bike, at 7 pm
An image-film with soundtrack of Kevin Hickey's four-year bike trip through 24 countries of Africa from North Africa, across the Sahara to West Africa, then Central Africa, East Africa, and finally down to the southernmost tip of the continent. The film will be followed by a short question-and-answer period, and then the film Umgidi.

Umgidi ("Shadow Dancing") at 8 p.m.

This film centers on the traditional Xhosa coming-of-age celebration called "umgidi" (18% of South Africans are Xhosa). Traditionally when a Xhosa boy reaches the age of 18 he is circumcised, and when sufficiently healed there is an umgidi (or "manhood") celebration. This film looks at the conflicts between tradition and "modernity" as manifested in two brothers: the elder brother (Sipho) turned 18 and was circumcised while in prison, and now years later and out of prison he has decided not only to hold his umgidi celebration but also hopes that his younger brother Vuyo—who is just turning 18—will undergo circumcision and hold his "manhood celebration" at the same time. The younger brother, however, has recently found out that he was adopted (and thus is probably not Xhosa) and also realizes that he is gay, and this leads him to declare that he will not participate in the umgidi tradition. This film won the "Award of Excellence" at the 2005 Society for Visual Anthropology Film and Video Festival. It was filmed by documentary filmmaker Gillian Schutte (see photo above) who is the real-life wife of the elder brother. In English and Xhosa with English subtitles. 74 minutes.

February 14 beginning at 7 pm
Drumming with Senegalese Drummer Babacar Biaye at 7 pm
Si-Gueriki ("The Queen Mother") at 7:45 pm
After living in Germany and France for 10 years, film director Idrissou Mora Kpai returns to his West African homeland to make a film about his father who was a member of the royal family of the Borgu people of northern Benin. To his surprise, he instead ends up making a film about his mother and female relatives as he discovers the world of Borgu women. This film looks at the emotional cross-currents of a man who returns to his family and culture with nostalgia and admiration but also dismay at the repression of women and sympathy for the hardships of daily life. This film is a sensitive document to a man's discovery of a world he grew up in but never knew. In Bariba and French with English subtitles. 63 minutes.

February 21 beginning at 7 pm

Long Night's Journey into Day: South Africa's Search for Truth & Reconciliation

Grand Prize Winner for Best Documentary at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, 2000 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary feature, and ALA Booklist's Editor's Choice Award for best video of 2000 (among other awards), Long Night's Journey into Day looks at the successes, failures, and high emotions of what is probably humankind's most ambitious and innovative approach to addressing injustice and achieving social reconciliation--this is the story of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission which heard the stories of over 22,000 victims of the violence of apartheid as well as the stories of some 7,000 perpetrators of this violence. This film documents four stories following whites, blacks, mothers, sisters, and even the parents of an American killed during a riot in South Africa. Emotional, illuminating, and worth seeing for anyone interested in understanding violence, ethics, justice, forgiveness, and how to think about the century ahead. 94 minutes.

Questions, contact:

Kevin Hickey

Kevin Hickey, PhD
Associate Professor of English & Africana Studies
Dept. of Humanities & Communication, OB 225B
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
106 New Scotland Ave.
Albany, NY 12208-3492

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