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The Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival

From February 19 – 24, 2010, BAMcinématek will present The Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival, an event spotlighting the diversity of filmmaking in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora. The Festival presents an eclectic mix of urban, classic, independent and foreign films that depict the richness and diversity of the life experience of people of African descent and indigenous people all over the world.
This year’s festival brings together films from countries including Nigeria, Jamaica, South Africa, Bolivia, Cuba, Senegal, Martinique, Egypt, and the United States. The ADFF’s mission is to present these films to diverse audiences, redesign the Black cinema experience, and strengthen the role of African and African descent directors in contemporary world cinema.

Films include:

Amilcar Cabral (2001) 
Directed by Ana Ramos Lisboa
Cape Verde/Portugal
52min, in Portuguese with English subtitles. 
This documentary probes the life story of the revolutionary giant Amilcar Cabral, assassinated in Conakry in 1973, through rare archival footage, testimonies from important African figures, and the credible recreation of notable episodes of Cabral's life.

Frantz Fanon: His Life, His Struggle, His Work (Frantz Fanon: Sa Vie, Son Combat, Son Travail) (2001) 
Directed by Cheikh Djemai 
Martinique/France/Algeria/Tunisia, in French with English subtitles.
Frantz Fanon was a psychiatrist from Martinique who became a radical spokesman for the Algerian revolution. This documentary traces the life of one of the great thinkers of the 20th century.

Arugba (2008) 
Directed by Tunde Kelani
Nigeria, in Yoruba with English subtitles. 
The latest from Nigerian filmmaker Kelani (Abeni) is a political satire of contemporary Nigeria. Set against the backdrop of a corrupt society seeking rebirth, the film presents a world in which modernity and tradition exist alongside each other but seldom in equilibrium.

Black Nation (2009) 
Directed by Mats Hjelm
60mins, Sweden/U.S.
This look at the state of black manhood in America is seen through the prism of the streets of Detroit, MI, and its controversial Church of the Black Madonna. Swedish filmmaker Mats Hjelm draws on his deep personal connection to the church and the city to explore the racial, cultural, and political ramifications of a "black male genocide"—all within the context of the decomposition of a once proud city.

Blues March - Soldier Jon Hendricks (2009) 
Directed by Malte Rauch
During World War II, 22-year-old Jon Hendricks, along with 900,000 other black GIs, fought wars on two fronts: one against the Nazis and another against racial discrimination. This documentary tells the story of Hendricks, later a world-renowned jazz musician, who deserted the army along with many other African Americans because of discrimination and harassment.

With A Stroke of the Chaveta (Con el toque de la chaveta) (2007) 
Directed by Pam Sporn
U.S., in Spanish with English subtitles. 
This documentary reveals the tradition of lectores, or readers, which was an integral part of the world of Cuban cigar makers from the 1800s to today.

Solidarity in Saya: An Afro-Bolivian Music Movement (2009) 
Directed by Maya Jensen
Bolivia, in Spanish with English subtitles. 
Through music and interviews with Afro-Bolivian economist Juan AngolaMaconde and others, this documentary explores the little known minority of Afro-Bolivian rural villagers in La Paz and the African-based music they use as a cultural tool of resistance.
Glorious Exit (2008) 
Directed by Kevin Merz 
75min, Nigeria/U.S./Switzerland, in English and German with English subtitles. 
A Swiss-Nigerian actor living in Los Angeles is summoned to Nigeria to bury his father. According to Nigerian tradition, the first-born is in charge of a father's burial. Although Jarreth accepts the responsibility, he struggles with the idea of being morally bound towards a family that he hardly knows and who has never been particularly interested in him.

Visibly Invisible (2008) 
Directed by Kurt Orderson
57min, Norway/South Africa
Promoting awareness about African culture, history, and identity in Norway, Afrikan History Week
represents the 50,000 strong African community living in that country. This documentary showcases their main activity, a platform for critical reflection on African cultural forms.

Making History (2008) 
Directed by Caecilia Tripp, Karen D McKinnon
This film mixes real time conversation between Linton Kwesi Johnson, considered the father of dub (reggae) poetry, and Nobel Prize nominee Edouard Glissant, one of the most important Caribbean writers of the last half-century, with a fictional narrative about a young woman cruising through night-time New York.

Anomaly (2009) 
Directed by Jessica Chen Drammeh
United States
This thought-provoking look at this country's multiracial identity uses spoken word and music to tell stories of navigating a complex racial landscape.

The Journey of the Lion (1992) 
Directed by Fritz Baumannz
Brother Howie is a Jamaican Rastafarian who dreams of the land of his ancestors: Africa. On a journey in search of his roots and his identity he travels through three continents and—with great humor and sensitivity—discovers not only Africa, but the entire world.

Made In Jamaica (2006) 
Directed by Jerome Laperrousaz
This documentary explores the multifaceted reality of reggae and dancehall music through interviews and musical performances with artists like Gregory Isaacs, Bounty Killer, Toots & the Maytals, Vybz Kartel, Sly & Robbie, Elephant Man, Bunny Wailer, Lady Saw, Third World, Beres Hammond, Tanya Stephens and more.

Nothing but the Truth (2008) 
Directed by John Kani
South Africa
This drama explores the complex relationship between black South Africans who risked their lives in the struggle against apartheid and those who returned victorious after living in exile.

Pro-Black Sheep (2009) 
Directed by Clayton Broomes Jr. 
When Rashad, a young man with an extraordinary intellect, is discovered sending anonymous emails criticizing black leaders for undermining the progress of black America, the leader who makes the discovery hires Rashad, setting him on a journey to find the voice he needs to make a difference. 

Stolen Kisses (Kobolat Masroka) (2009) 
Directed by Khaled El Hagar
Egypt,120min, in Arabic with English subtitles. 35mm
This portrayal of nine Egyptians in their 20s creates a picture of modern Cairo by focusing on family conflicts, unemployment, sexual frustration, prostitution, and violence—themes which are rarely touched upon in Egypt.

Up from the Bottoms: The Search for the American Dream (2009) 
Directed by James Schaub
U.S. 58min.
Cicely Tyson narrates this documentary about the massive migration of African Americans from the rural South to the prosperous North during the World War II years and beyond. The film also features civil rights activist, comedian, and author Dick Gregory and the scholar of Black Americana studies, Dr. Ben Wilson.

When The City Bites (Quand la ville mord) (2009) 
Directed by Dominique Cabrera
60min, in French with English subtitles
When Sara and her cousin arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport from Brazzaville, they are soon put to work in a prostitution ring. When Omar, the pimp, kills Sara’s cousin in a brutal beating, Sara decides to take matters into her own hands.

Youssou N'dour: Return to Gorée (2006) 
Directed by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud 
Switzerland/ Luxembourg/ Senegal
108min, in English and French with English subtitles. 35mm
Youssou N’Dour, the Senegalese singer, gives a jazz concert on the island of Gorée to commemorate those who started their journey in life as slaves in the New World and created one of the most important and celebrated musical expressions in the world.
Tickets: $12 per screening for adults; $9 for seniors (65 and over),  
$9 for children (ages five to eleven), and $9 for students (25 and under with valid I.D.) 
Monday–Thursday, except holidays; $8 BAM Cinema Club members
Tickets available by phone at 718.777.FILM
For more information visit:

Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival
Feb. 19 – 24, 2010
BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brookylyn, NY 11217

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