Humanities 211
Culture(s) & Literature of Africa
(Oral Arts &  Film)
Cora Agatucci

6 October 1998: Learning Resources

African Films
n COCC collections)
& Resources

Short Cuts on this webpage:  Afrique, Je Te Plumerai | Algeria 1954 | Amistad | Art of the Dogon
Chinua Achebe: A World of Ideas | Chocolat | Cry Freedom | Dutch in South Africa | Everyone's Child
Garth Fagan's Griot New York | Hidden Faces | I Is a Long Memoried Woman | In Search of Human Origins
Keita: Heritage of the Griot | Mapantsula | "Master Harold"...and the Boys | Mountains of the Moon
Mysteries of Mankind | Orfeu Negro [Black Orpheus] | Reassemblage | South Africa Belongs to Us
Trading in Africans | Tunisia & Morocco...Independence | Warrior Marks | Wend Kuuni | Yeelen

Bibliography [Additional resources, etc. UNDER CONSTRUCTION
AUG. 2004 & Sorry but still Under Construction Jan 2010]

COCC Library Holding
COCC Campus Library:

COCC Humanities Dept. Holding

Feature (Anti-)Documentary
Cora has ordered the DVD version from California Newsreel, 10/26/09.
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual;
Call No.: DT572 .A35 1992
Afrique-- je te plumerai [videorecording] = Africa, I will fleece you / un film de Jean-Marie Teno.
San Francisco, CA
: California Newsreel, c1992.
California Newsreel:
Internet Movie Database:

Afrique: je te plumerai [English: "Africa: I Will Fleece You"]. Dir., Prod., & Narr.: Jean-Marie Téno. [Videotape.]  California Newsreel, 1992.

Director: Jean-Marie TenoCameroon, 1992.  California Newsreel: Library of African Cinema.  In French with English subtitles. 88 minutes.
Film Summary: Director Jean-Marie Teno offers a devastating overview of 100 years of "cultural genocide" in Africa.  Set in modern Yaounde, Cameroon--"cruel city, city of official lies"--Teno must look to the personal and collective past to understand the present. This eloquent 1992 film eludes conventional genre categories, combining dramatization, satire, personal reflection, newsreels, & oral testimony. 
Selected Highlights: In the film, Teno introduces Sultan Njoya, who "spent twelve years to invent his own alphabet, made of eighty symbols. He wanted to be able to write in the Bamun language the kingdom's history. At this time, the oral tradition dominated. The Sultan Njoya is known to have said to his subjects: "I will give you a book that talks without any sound". He even established schools to teach his language. Njoya revolutionized agriculture by introducing European plants, unknown to Africa. He instituted the beginnings of a civil state through a system of birth and death certificates, built a blast furnace, and founded a religion, the 'Novat Kovot.' In 1913, while Cameroun was still a German colony, Sultan Njoya equipped himself with his own printing house."

Learn more:
Agatucci, Cora. Afrique, je te plumerai - Study Guide & Resources

HUM 211 Course Pack -
Fall 2004

Dye, Michael. "Street Sounds: The Changing Face of Colonialization." [Rev. of Afrique, Je Te Plumerai.]  1998. Long Reviews. Culture, Communication & Media Studies - CCMS: African Cinema & TV. Univ. of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. 2001. 21 Aug. 2004 <>.

Téno, Jean-Marie. "Imagining Alternatives: African Cinema in the Year 2000." California Newsreel. 21 Aug. 2004 <>.

Documentary Short
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. DT280.2 .A43 1991

Algeria 1954 [videorecording] : revolt of a colony / Marc Ferro.
Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities ; 1991. 1 videocassette (VHS) (14 min.)
Describes social and economic conditions of Algeria which led to 1954 revolt against the French government.

AMISTAD (1997)
Feature/Historical Fiction - African Diaspora
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. E447 .A65 1998
"Amistad (1997)," Internet Movie Database:
External Reviews for Amistad:

Amistad [videorecording] / [presented by] DreamWorks Pictures in association with HBO Pictures ; produced by Steven Spielberg, Debbie Allen, Colin Wilson ; written by David Franzoni ; directed by Steven Spielberg.

Amistad.  Dir. Steven Spielberg.  Perf. Djimon Hounsou, Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins.  [Videotape.]  DreamWorks SKG-Home Box Office, USA, 1997. 
Language: English / Mende; Runtime: USA: 152 min.
MPAA Rated R:
some scenes of strong brutal violence and some related nudity.

Learn more:
Agatucci, Cora. HUM 211 Course Pack - Fall 2004:
Amistad:  The True Story & the Film

Exploring Amistad at Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea
(located in Mystic, Connecticut): From the "Discovery" section of this website you can learn the history of the real Amistad Revolt of 1839-1842 (on which Steven Spielberg's 1997 feature film Amistad  was based), "a shipboard uprising off the coast of Cuba that carried itself, inadvertently but fatefully, to the United States--where the Amistad Captives set off an intense legal, political, and popular debate over the slave trade, slavery, race, Africa, and ultimately America itself." 
[Unfortunately this link is now broken. ~C. Agatucci, 29 Dec. 2009]
Try this site instead:
Linder, Douglas. Famous American Trials: Amistrad Trials, 1839-1840

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Documentary Short
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. N7399.M3 A781 1988v

The Art of the Dogon [videorecording] / the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Office of Film and Television ; produced and directed by John Goberman, Marc Bauman.
Dir. & Prod. John Goberman and Marc Bauman. Wr. David Keaton. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Office of Film and Television- Home Vision, 1988.  [Produced in conjunction with an exhibition from the collection of Lester Wunderman.]  24 min.
Summary: "Attempts to capture the beauty and power of Dogon art while placing it in context within Dogon beliefs and culture."

Documentary Short / Interview

PBS Video, Public Affairs Television, WNET/New York and WWTTW/Chicago, Alexandria, VA; 1989. Films for the Humanities, 1994. 28 min.
Film Summary:  From The Moyers Collection comes this insightful videotaped interview with Chinua Achebe, originally filmed for Bill Moyers' PBS television series A World of Ideas (1989). Achebe discusses the role of the African storyteller, one who hears the music of history and weaves the fabric of memory, one obliged to be the people's collective sometimes to offend "the Emperor" in so doing. "It is the storyteller... who makes us who we are, that creates history." A man caught between two worlds, Achebe discusses his observations and criticisms of both African and Western politics and culture, the stages in his awakening to inaccurate and demeaning depictions of black Africans in works such as Conrad's Heart of Darkness, to his closing advice that the West: "listen to the weak."
Learn more: 
Agatucci, Cora. 
African Authors: Chinua Achebe - Table of Contents
Agatucci, Cora.  HUM 211 Course Pack - Fall 2004:
Things Fall Apart Study Guide (Fall 2004 Course Pack):
Achebe in His Own Words (Fall 2004 Course Pack):

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Feature Fiction
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. PN1995.9.F67 C4647 1990
Chocolat [videorecording] / Alain Belmondo et Gerard Crosnier ; Marin Karmitz, MK2 ; un film de Clair Denis.
[New York] : Orion Home Video, [1990], c1988.
Internet Movie Database: Chocolat (1988):
External Reviews:

Dir. Claire Denis.  Prod. Alain Belmondo et Gerard Crosnier.  Co-producers: Cinemanuel, MK2 Productions, Cerito Films, La S.E.P.T., Caroline Productions, Le F.O.D.I.C. Cameroun, Wim Wenders Produktion Berlin, TFI Films Production, 1988.  Wr. Claire Denis and Jean-Pol Fargeau.  Perf. Giulia Boschi, Isaach de Bankole, François Cluzet, Cecile Ducasse, Mireille Perrier.  Video: Orion Classics, 1990. In French with English subtitles.  105 min.  Rated: PG-13. 
Film Summary: Claire Denis’ award-winning autobiographical film traces a white woman’s return to her youth in pre-independence French Cameroon, haunted by wounding memories of
black African Protee, the family's "houseboy" and a man of great nobility, intelligence and beauty. Chocolat is a stirring & subtle examination of  intricate relationships in a racist society and the human damage exacted on both the colonized and colonizer.
Learn more: 

Yahnke, Robert E. (Professor of film studies, General College, Univ. of Minnesota-Minneapolis, MN). “Film Summary: Chocolat 1989; Dir. Claire Denis.” 2001. 21 Aug. 2004 <>.

Agatucci, Cora.  Chocolat Film Guide & Resources: HUM 211 Course Pack - Fall 2004.

Feature / Historical Fiction
Internet Movie Database:
External Reviews:

Film Summary: Richard Attenborough’s 1987 riveting story of black activist Stephen Biko (Denzel Washington) and liberal white newspaper editor Donald Woods (Kevin Kline). Woods undertakes a perilous quest to expose the horrors of apartheid, escape South Africa, and bring Biko’s remarkable tale of courage to the world.  Cry Freedom..."The true story of the friendship that shook South Africa and awakened the world."

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Feature / Fiction
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. PN1997 .E96 1996 
Everyone's child [videorecording] /Media for Development Trust production; screenplay by John Riber, Andrew Whaley,
and Tsitsi Dangarembga; produced by Jonny Persey, John Riber, Ben Zulu; directed by Tsitsi Dangarembga
California Newsreel:
Internet Movie Database:

Dir. Tsitsi Dangarembga.  Prod. Media for Development Trust, Zimbabwe, 1996.  Prod. Jonny Persey, John Riber, Ben Zulu.  Wr. Shimmer Chinodya, Tsitsi Dangarembga, John Riber, Andrew Whaley.  Perf.  Elizjah Madzikatire, Nomsa Mlambo, Walter Muparutsa, Killness Nyati, Chunky Phiri, Thulani Sandhla, Simon Shumba.  Videotape.  San Francisco: Library of African Cinema, California Newsreel, distributor; 1996.  
In English.  Runtime: 83 min.
Audience: Adult.
Film Summary:
From Zimbabwe's Media for Development Trust comes Everyone's Child (1996, in English, 90 min.), directed by Tsitsi Dangarembga and dramatizing the tragic story of one Zimbabwean family devastated by AIDS. When both parents die of AIDS, Itai, Tamari, Norah, and Nhamo are left to fend for themselves, and the eldest children are forced to take the limited unsavory options open to them. It takes the tragic death of the youngest to recall family head and community to their traditional responsibilities and realize these are everyone's children. Now, more than ever, "it takes a village to raise a child," with some 10 million African children predicted to be orphaned by AIDS by the year 2000, and millions of others left homeless by civil wars or abandoned by parents who cannot support them.
California Newsreel:
Learn more:
Agatucci, Cora. Hum 211 Fall 2004 Course Pack:
Tsitsi Dangarembga &
Nervous Conditions

Tsitsi Dangarembga, by Rebecca Grady, 1997,
for Postcolonial Studies at Emory Univ., with bibliography and links:

Tsitsi Dangarembga (b. 1959)
Pegasos (Petri Liukkonen, Finland), 2003:

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Garth Fagan's GRIOT NEW YORK (1995)
Documentary / Interviews & Performance
- African Diaspora
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. GV1790.G75 G25 1995

Garth Fagan's Griot New York [videorecording] / a Thirteen/WNET production in association with Sony Classical Film & Video.  Interviewees: Garth Fagan and Wynton Marsalis; performers: Garth Fagan Dance (Norwood Pennewell, Natalie Rogers, featured dancers) and Wynton Marsalis Septet.
New York, N.Y. : Sony Classical Film & Video, c1995. 1 videocassette (85 min.) :
Film Summary: Following brief interviews with Garth Fagan and Wynton Marsalis, the program includes a complete performance of Griot New York. The concept of a griot, a West African storyteller who keeps the cultural heritage of a people alive, is used to depict the non-European culture of New York City, and particularly the African and Caribbean backgrounds of some of its residents.
Learn More:
Great Performances: Free to Dance (PBS Online):
DANCE IN AMERICA' presents 'Free To Dance' a three-part documentary that chronicles the crucial role that African-American choreographers and dancers have played in the development of modern dance as an American art form. Tracing this phenomenon against the backdrop of America's social, political, and cultural landscape, the series captures the struggle for artistic freedom and spotlights the genius created by cultural synergy. "Without the African contribution, we would not have had American dance as we know it," says author Katrina Hazzard Donald."
Episode 3, "Go for What You Know," includes Garth Fagan's "Griot New York."

COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. HQ1793 .H52
Women Make Movies:

Hidden faces [videorecording] / Channel 4 ; produced and directed by Kim Longinotto and Clair Hunt with Safaa Fathay.  New York, N.Y. : Women Make Movies, [1993?].  Originally produced as documentary film in G.B. in 1990.
Film Summary: Award-winning Hidden Faces (1990; 52 min.) is a fascinating collaborative documentary featuring Safaa Fathay, a young Egyptian woman living in Paris, who journeys home to make a film about famed feminist activist and writer Nawal El Saadawi. Disillusioned with her encounter, however, Fathay goes on to explore her family’s past and the tensions between tradition and modernity facing women of the Arab world (filmed in Cairo, El Minia, and rural villages of Egypt).
Women Make Movies:

Hidden Faces (1990, co-directed with Claire Hunt, 52 min.)
"Safaa, a young Egyptian woman living in Paris, goes to Egypt to meet Nawal El Saadawi, a prominent feminist writer and activist. The film unfolds through a reading of El Saadawi’s works, and addresses the frictions and disparities between feminism and a number of practices—women’s veiling, cliterodectomies, the prohibition of pre-marital sex—which continue to be strongly rooted in Egyptian Muslim society today."
Interview with Kim Longinotto:

Of related interest: Three Arab Women Documentary Filmmakers:

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Documentary/Feature: Dance/Drama & Interview - African Diaspora
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. F2191.B55 I18
is a long memoried woman [videorecording] / based on a collection of poems by Grace Nicols; produced by Ingrid Lewis;
directed by Frances-Anne Solomon; a Leda Serene/Yod Video production.
New York : Women Make Movies, 1990.
Leda Serene:
Women Make Movies:

I Is a Long Memoried Woman. Dir. Frances-Anne Solomon. Prod. Ingrid Lewis.  Narr. & Perf. Adjoa Andoh and Leonie Forbes.  LedaSerene/Women Make Movies, 1990.  [Videotape.] LedaSerene/Yod Video, 1991.
In Creole and English.  Runtime: 50 min.
Audience: High School to Adult.

Film Summary: Out of the abusive conditions of the new world sugar plantations, this unforgettable 1990 film of the African Diaspora, directed by Frances-Anne Solomon, offers a powerful rendering of female slavery and defiance, survival and strength, in dance-drama performance.  The film presents a young African-Caribbean woman's quest for survival and freedom in evocative dance, griotte-style monologue & song.  Inter-segments present readings and commentary by Grace Nichols, on whose award-winning poetry the film is based. I is a Long-Memoried Woman, published in 1983 (London: Karnak House), was Nichols' first collection of poetry, and won Nichols the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. The film adaptation was a Gold Award winner at the International Film and Television Festival of New York.  I is a long memoried woman (London: Karnak House, 1983), the book of poetry on which the film is based, won Grace Nichols the 1983 Commonwealth Poetry Prize. 
Agatucci, Cora.  HUM 211 Fall 2004 Course Pack:
I Is a Long Memoried Woman
Film Notes & Study Guide

COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. GN283.25 .J652 (3 videotapes)

In search of human origins [videorecording] / written and produced by Michael Gunton.  Narr. & Perf. Don Johanson. Boston, Mass. : WGBH Educational Foundation, 1994.
3 videocassettes: 180 min. Originally produced as a segment for PBS television series Nova in June, 1997.
Film Summary:
Episode 1: The story of Lucy. In 1974, Johanson unearthed Lucy, at almost 3 million years of age, our oldest human ancestor. Lucy's tiny three-and-a-half-foot skeleton set the world of paleoanthropology on its ear. Lucy walked upright and it was proven that a larger brain was the key difference between early man and the ape.
Episode 2: Surviving in
Africa. Johanson sets out to disprove the long-cherished view that early man's larger brain and reliance on technology are the by-products of the ability to hunt. He embarks on a journey across the Serengeti savanna of East Africa in search of food. He finds it- not by hunting but by scavenging off the leftovers of lions and leopards.
Episode 3: The creative revolution. Fifty thousand years ago, a dramatic change swept through the hunter-gatherers then living in
Africa. They began to paint, carve, talk, bury their dead, travel and trade. What accounts for this sudden transformation? This question continues to be at the heart of heated debates.
Learn more:
PBS Online: Nova - Transcripts:
Episode 1:
Episode 2:
Episode 3:

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Feature/Historical Fiction
Cora has obtained the DVD version from California Newsreel, 10/26/09.
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual;
Call No. GR352.8 .K45 1994
Keïta!, l'héritage du griot [videorecording] = Keita!, the heritage of the griot
AFIX Productions ; Les Productions de la Lanterne; Sahélis Productions ; L'E tat de Burkina.
San Francisco, Calif. : California Newsreel, 1994.

California Newsreel: "Keita: The Heritage of the Griot" [essay]:
California Newsreel facilitator guide:

"Keita: The Heritage of the Griot:
Notes for Viewing the Film":
IMDB - Internet Movie Database: "Keita! L'héritage du griot (1994)":
See also
California Newsreel's Library of African Cinema
& California Newsreel's "Viewing African Cinema: Six Pointers":  

[Above Keita Links updated 1 Jan. 2010, C. Agatucci]


Keita: Heritage of the Griot [French: Keita! L'héritage du griot].  Dir. Dani Kouyaté.  Perf. Seydou Boro, Hamed Dicko, Abdoulaye Komboudri, and Sotigui Kouyaté.  [Videotape.]  Afix Productions-California Newsreel, 1994.
 In Jula and French, with English subtitles; Run time: 94 min.
Film Summary:  A djeliba (master griot or bard) arrives mysteriously to teach young Mabo Keita "the meaning of his name," revealing the story of his ancestor Sundjata Keita, the legendary 13th century founder of the great Mali Empire. In the process, boy and griot come into conflict with Mabo’s Westernized mother and schoolteacher, who have rejected African traditional ways and beliefs. Director Dani Kouyate (Burkina Faso) introduces Western viewers, along with Mabo, to one of the great epics and heroes of African oral tradition, framing the dramatization of Sundjata within the story of a contemporary young African’s initiation into the history of his family. (Burkina Faso/France, 1994; in Jula and French with English subtitles. From Library of African Cinema, California Newsreel, distributor.) 
Learn more:
Agatucci, Cora.  HUM 211 Fall 2004 Course Pack:
Keita Film Notes:
Epic of Sundjata:

"Keita: The Heritage of the Griot: Notes for Viewing the Film."  [Facilitator Guide.] Library of African Cinema, California Newsreel. 11 August 2004 <>.

MAPANTSULA (Hustler) (1988)
Feature / Fiction
California Newsreel:
Internet Movie Database:

Film Summary: The first anti-apartheid film by, for and about black South Africans, Mapantsula (review from California Newsreel) was filmed inside Soweto and scored to the urban beat of “Township Jive” by directors Thomas Mogotlane and Oliver Schmitz, who deceived South African authorities into believing they were shooting a conventional gangster movie. Instead Mogotlane and Schmitz made an uncompromisingly honest anti-apartheid film endorsed by the ANC, banned by South African censors and acclaimed at film festivals worldwide. Panic, the central character (and acted by Thomas Mogotlane), is a mapantsula, Zulu term for petty crook and a popular rebellious figure in urban folklore and fiction. The 1988 film traces Panic’s transformation from irresponsible individualist to a man compelled to take a stand against an unjust system.
(In English, Sotho and Afrikaans, with English subtitles.) 100 min.

Library of African Cinema, California Newsreel:

Mapantsula. Cross-Cultural Film Guide, by Patricia Aufderheide, The American University. 1992. 21 Aug. 2004 <>.

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Feature / Televised Stage Play
Internet Movie Database:

Film Summary: This critically-acclaimed film (1985) of Athol Fugard’s confessional drama depicts a white adolescent’s personal initiation in the abuses of racial power during a long afternoon of crisis and revelation. Set in a 1950 tea room in apartheid-era South Africa, "Master Harold"...and the Boys delves into the special relationship between Hally ("Master Harold," played by Matthew Broderick), and Willy and Sam ("the boys" who work for Hally’s family, played by celebrated black South African actors Zakes Mokae and John Kani).
Lorimar Pictures. In English. Run time: 89 min.
First produced at the Yale Repertory Theater in 1982; earned the Drama Desk Award and Critics Circle Award for best play in 1983, and London's Evening Standard Award in 1984.

Brians, Paul (Dept. of English, Washington State Univ.- Pullman). Athol Fugard: "Master Harold" . . . and the Boys [Study Guide]. 1996; 1997.  Aug. 21 2004 <>. Master Harold … and the Boys | Introduction. 2000-2004. Aug. 21 2004

Talkin' Broadway Review: Master Harold...and the boys, rev. by Matthew Murray, 1 June 2003.  21 Aug. 2004 <>.

Feature / Historical Fiction
Internet Movie Database:
External Reviews:

Tri-Star Pictures presents a film directed by Bob Rafelson and produced by Daniel Melnick. Written by William Harrison and Rafelson. Photographed by Roger Deakins. Edited by Thom Noble. Music by Michael Small. Run time: 136 min. RATED: R.
Film Summary: Bob Rafelson directed this powerful epic of explorers John Hanning Speke and Sir Richard Francis Burton’s quest to find the source of the River Nile during the mid-19th century. Spectacular adventure studs Mountains of the Moon (1990) based on William Harrison’s novel.

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COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. GN281 .M97 1992

Mysteries of Mankind [videorecording] / produced by the National Geographic Society and WQED Pittsburgh ; written and produced by Barbara Jampel.  Photography, Erik Daarstad et al.; editor, John Dabney; narrator, Richard Kiley; music, Scott Harper. Originally broadcast as a National Geographic Society special. [Washington, D.C.] : The Society, Distributed by Columbia Tristar Home Video, [1992], c1988.
1 videocassette: 60 min. 
Film Summary:
Traces anthropological research in human evolution, beginning with discoveries in
Africa of australopithecine bones, the Leakeys' discoveries in the African Rift Valley and Olduvai Gorge, and Johanson's work in Hadar, Ethiopia. Includes discussion of dating techniques such as laser dating and the search for a common ancestor.

Feature / Fiction
- African Diaspora
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. PN1995.9.F67 O74 1990
Internet Movie Database:

Black orpheus [videorecording] = Orfeu negro / a Sacha Gordine production ; original screenplay, Jacques Viot ; a Franco-Italian coproduction, Dispatfilm Gemma Cinematografica with Tupan Filmes ; directed by Marcel CamusInspired from the play Orfeu da conceição by Vinícius de Moraes. Originally issued as motion picture in 1959. 1 videocassette: 103 min.
[United States] : Janus Films collection, Home Vision, [199-?] . In Portuguese with English subtitles.
Plot Outline:  "A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro." Internet Movie Database:
Plot Summary for Orfeu Negro: "In Rio, Orfeo is a trolley conductor and musician, engaged to Mira. During Carnival week, he sees Eurydice, who's fled her village in fear of a stalker; it's love at first sight. Her cousin Sarafina, with whom she stays in Rio, is a friend of Orfeo and Mira, so the star-crossed lovers meet again. Later, during the revels, wearing Sarafina's costume, Eurydice dances a provocative samba with Orfeo. Not only is Mira enraged when her rival is unmasked, but the stalker, dressed as Death, appears: Eurydice is in danger, pursued through noisy crowds and a morgue. Can Orfeo conduct her to safety? Don't look back."
Internet Movie Database:

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REASSEMBLAGE: From the Firelight to the Screen (1982)
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. HQ1814.5 .R42 1982
    Women Make Movies:

Reassemblage [videorecording] : from the firelight to the screen / a film by Trinh T. Minh-hà.
1 videocassette: 40 min.  New York, NY : Distributed by Women Make Movies, c1982.
Film Summary: Reassemblage (40 min.) is innovative filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha’s 1982 complex visual study of the women of rural Senegal. Disjunctive editing, lush cinematography, & probing narration challenge the premises of conventional ethnographic filmmaking while offering an unforgettable experience of Senegalese beauty, hardship, & integrity.

COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. HQ1800.5 .S68 1980
California Newsreel:

South Africa belongs to us [videorecording] / a film by Chris Austin, Peter Chappell, Ruth Weiss ; Gerhard Schmidt Produktion in association with W.D.R. [60 min.]
New York : Icarus Films c1980.  1 videocassette (VHS) (60 min.)
Film Summary: "This intimate portrait of five typical black South African women reveals the dehumanizing reality of life under apartheid. The personal stories of a wife left behind in the homelands, a hospital cleaner living in a single-sex hostel, a public health nurse from Soweto, a domestic servant and a leader of a squatters' camp, still provide the best introduction on film to the daily violence wreaked by apartheid on family life and the social fabric. At the same time, these five women's resilience demonstrate the strength which will be able to build a new South Africa."
California Newsreel:

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Struggle for North African Independence
Documentary Short
COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. DT264.27 .T84 1991

Tunisia and Morocco [videorecording] : struggle for North African independence / a film by Marie-Louise Derrien, Marc Ferro.  Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities, 1991. 16 min.

COCC Campus Library Location: I.M.S. Audiovisual; Call No. GN484 .W3521 1993
Women Make Movies:

Warrior marks [videorecording] / a Hauer Rawlence Production in association with Our Daughters Have Mothers, Inc. for Channel 4 ; producer and director, Pratibha Parmar. Perf. Alice Walker.
Mainly in English; some coversations in French with English subtitles or simultaneous translation into English.
New York, NY : Distributed by Women Make Movies, 1993. Videocassette. Run time:
54 min.
Film Summary:
Warrior Marks is the poetic and controversial 1993 effort of filmmaker Pratibha Parmar and producer Alice Walker, exploring the cultural & political complexities of "Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women," the film’s subtitle. Walker’s personal reflections intercut interviews with women of Senegal, The Gambia, Burkino Faso, the United States, and England.
Includes interviews with the circumsized, activists against female circumcision, and the circumsizers.

Book of the same title: Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women.  Ed.  Alice Walker, Pratibha Parmar, and Vicki Austin-Smith. Harvest Books; Reprint edition (February 28, 1996). ISBN: 0156002140 --'s synopses of the book

WEND KUUNI (God's Gift) (1982)
Feature / Fiction
California Newsreel:

Film Summary: International award-winner Wend Kuuni ("God's Gift"; Burkina Faso, 1982; 70 min.), directed by Gaston Kabore, offers a "gentle fable" of a mute, memoryless orphan found and adopted by a village. Renamed "Wend Kuuni," or "God's Gift," the boy finds real community and recovers his ability to communicate among adopted family and village, even as flashbacks ironically reveal his mother's fate after rejection by her native community. Set before the coming of Islam and Christianity, unveiled through the rhythmic compositions of African oral storytelling, Kabore's fable offers lessons for contemporary Burkina Faso: traditional Mossi values yet have the power to heal and unify a modern African state torn by dislocation, refugees, and social conflict.
La Direction du Cinema; Kino Video/California Newsreel's Library of African Cinema.   
In Moré with English subtitles. Run time: 70 min.

Wend Kuuni. Cross-Cultural Film Guide, by Patricia Aufderheide, The American University. 1992. 21 Aug. 2004 <>.

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YEELEN (1987)
Feature / Fiction
Internet Movie Database:
External Reviews:

Film Summary: Director Souleymane Cisse’s acclaimed film (Mali, 1987), set during the era of the powerful Mali Empire of the 13th century, adapts one the great oral epics of the Bambara people of West Africa. The young warrior Nianankoro, carrying powerful ancestral secrets of knowledge and light, defies his vengeful father and the secret Komo society. Nianankoro’s initiation quest takes him across Bambara, Fulani, and Dogon lands to his destiny: destruction of a corrupt older society and the inauguration of a new purified world order. In Cisse’s distinctly African "science fiction," the future inevitably lies in the past. Yeelen captures the Bambara belief in circular time, returning always to the creation moment of "brightness." Winner of the 1987 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize. In Bambara, with English subtitles. Run time: 105 min.
[NO LONGER AVAILABLE from California Newsreel, as of August 2004 ~ CA]
Yeelen. Cross-Cultural Film Guide, by Patricia Aufderheide, American University. 1992. Aug. 2004 <>.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR from: James Leahy, "Stories of the Past--Soulemane Cisse" (p. 348) and "Yeelen (The Light" (pp. 343-344), both in Monthly Film Bulletin (of the British Film Institute, London) 55.658 (Nov. 1988).

Souleymane Cisse was born in Bamako [Mali] in 1940, lived for a time in Dakar, Senegal, with his parents, then returned to Bamako in 1960, at the time of the break up of the Mali Federation into the independent countries of Mali and Senegal. Cisse identifies himself as "Soninke, but I express myself in Bambara . . ." (cited in Leahy, Yeelen 344). In 1961, Cisse received a grant to study photography and [film] projection in Moscow; a second grant enabled him to enroll in VGIK, the state film school, for a five-year course working with Mark Donskoi (Leahy 348). Cisse made student films at VGIK, including L’Aspirant (1968), a short film dramatizing comparison of modern and traditional [African] methods of medicine, involving a young doctor and his father, a traditional healer. He had returned to Mali by 1970, first to direct newsreels and documentaries for the Mali State Information Service. His first feature film Cinq jours d’une vie (1972) presents traditional Koranic education as failing Bambara youth. Den Muso (1975) exposes the "plight of the countless child-mothers that one sees in most African countries today, wandering the streets . . . . I wanted my heroine to be dumb in order to point up something that’s fairly obvious: that women in our society do not have the right to speak" (Cisse qtd. in Leahy 348). Baara (1978) sketches the "problems of a working-class in the process of formation. To me it seems important to broach from there a key question for the futures of our countries. How are the respective problems of the peasantry and this unborn working-class going to articulate themselves? . . . . For me, the central character is not the engineer . . . [despite his] great political consciousness. The central character is the porter. . . . To tell the truth, back home the gulf between the intellectuals and the mass of the people is not very deep" (Cisse qtd. in Leahy 348).

Of Finye (The Wind; 1982), Cisse explains: "In Mali there’s no theatre, no school of performers. One is thus reduced to finding one’s interpreter while walking down the street. Occasionally this gives surprising results. I found my principal actor, a sixteen-year-old lycee student, remarkable gifted . . . . I hope in the future to be able to make films in which the ancient depths of African culture will surge up again. To this end, I spend my time visiting old men who tell me stories of the past, true or mythical. A[n African] cinema imitating America or Europe will be in vain. We must immerse ourselves in our own sources" (Cisse qtd in Leahy 348). Cisse’s next feature film was Yeelen (1987).

MacRae, Suzanne H. "Yeelen: A Political Fable of the Komo Blacksmith/Sorcerers." Research in African Literatures, 26.3 (Fall 1995): p57(10).  Info Trac (Article A17403889).

MacRae argues that some Western critics have misinterpreted Yeelen as simply "a fairy tale," while "African audiences recognize serious contemporary issues in the narrative and perceive the direct relationship of the film to their own social and political problems." She maintains that "Yeelen is so firmly rooted in West African Mande culture that the full resonance of the plot, characterization, artistic intent, and social/political significance cannot be understood outside the cultural and historical context. Yeelen is a profoundly West African film, an epic Bildungsroman centered on a dynastic struggle within the distinguished Diarra family of the Bambara branch of the Mande people," a family whose "glory . . . has been celebrated in oral epic poetry," and who are still politically prominent in Mali today." Further, MacRae explains background on the complex "lore and practices of the Komo," which Cisse simplifies "to indict abuse of power by the current rulers of Mali"--i.e." the corrupt and violent regime of President Moussa Traore, who came to power through the 1968 military coup." "Subtly but clearly, Yeelen demands a return to the traditional ideals of beneficent governance. Cisse hopes that his film will arouse the conscience of his audience to cleanse the government of corruption and restore the ethical integrity of the ancestral Mali commonwealth." MacRae also believes Cisse uses mythic material and style in Yeelen " to celebrate the values of traditional West African culture as a model for contemporary Mali," identifying "the search for contemporary inspiration in the roots of African culture [being] a major thrust in African filmmaking . . . ."

Wright, Rob. "Africa's Film Capital." (Ouagadougou Pan-African Film Festival.)  Africa Report, 40.1(Jan-Feb 1995): p. 61(3). Info Trac (Article A16617606).

From Wright's article: "High on its [Fespaco's] list is Malian director Souleymane Cisse, whose 1987 film Yeleen (Brightness in Bambara) has been termed "one of the great experiences of world cinema" by the Los Angeles Times and "an astonishing work of great virtuosity" by The Village Voice. In it, Cisse reaches far back into his country's rich oral tradition to tell the ancient story of a son's 300-mile trek across the Sahel fleeing an evil father sworn to kill him. Highly skilled in visual narrative and not afraid of addressing the role of fetishism in West African society, Cisse is the only two-time winner of Fespaco's top prize, the estalon ("stallion"). He won in 1979 for Baara (Labor) and again in 1983 for Finye (The Wind) . . . "

Zahan, Dominique. The Bambara. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1974.

Zahan, Dominique. The Religion, Spirituality and Thought of Traditional Africa. Trans. Kate Ezra and Lawrence M. Martin. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1979.

Zuesse, Evan M. Ritual Cosmos: The Sanctification of Life in African Religions. Athens, OH: Ohio UP, 1979

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"African Studies Resources." California Newsreel: Library of African Cinema. 21 August 2004 <>.

"Afrique: je te plumerai." California Newsreel: Library of African Cinema. 2004. 21 Aug. 2004 <>.

Allen, Joan. "The African Film Festival Addresses the Issues of Struggle and Culture." Special to the AmNews: The 4th Annual New York Film Festival spotlight[s], among other African filmmakers, Jean-Marie Teno, "who returns to the festival to present two films and a program of shorts." Review of Teno's film "Gypsy Cab" (CLANDO, 1996). (Available to COCC Library authorized users through FirstSearch: FastDoc, 1992-1998 OCLC.)

Aufderheide, Patricia. Cross-Cultural Film Guide: Films from Africa, Asia and Latin America at The American University. 1992. 21 Aug. 2004 <>.

Cham, Mbye (Associate Professor of African Studies, Howard Univ.). "Film Text and Context: Reweaving Africa’s Social Fabric Through Its Contemporary Cinema." California Newsreel: Library of African Cinema. 2004. 21 Aug. 2004 <>.

Dye, Michael. "Street Sounds: The Changing Face of Colonialization." [Rev. of Afrique, Je Te Plumerai.]  1998. Long Reviews. Culture, Communication & Media Studies - CCMS: African Cinema & TV. Univ. of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. 2001. 21 Aug. 2004 <>.

Fung, Karen. Films & Videos. Africa South of the SaharaStanford University Libraries. 1994-2004.  21 Aug. 2004 <>.  Pathway: Africa South of the Sahara>Browse by Topics>Film

Direct URL: [still works as of Aug. 2004 ~CA.]

Gugler, Josef. African Film: Re-Imagining a Continent Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 2003.

Johnson, John William, ed. & trans.  Epic of Son-Jara: A West African Tradition.  [Text as performed by griot Fa-Digi Sisoko.] 1986. African Epic Series, ed. Thomas A. Hale and John W. Johnson.  Bloomington: Midland-Indiana Univ. Press, 1992.

"Keita: The Heritage of the Griot." Library of African Cinema, California Newsreel. 11 August 2004 <>.

"Keita: The Heritage of the Griot: Notes for Viewing the Film."  [Facilitator Guide.] Library of African Cinema, California Newsreel. 11 August 2004 <>.

Racevskis, Maija. "Applications of African Cinema in the High School Curriculum: A Secondary Teacher's Views of 'Three Tales from Senegal,' 'Ca twiste a Poponguine,' 'Udju Azul di Yonta,' 'Hyenas,' and 'Keita'." Research in African Literatures, 27.3(Fall 1996): 98(12pp.). Rpt. Infotrac 2000 Expanded Academic ASAP Article A18635808.

Reinwald, Brigitte.  "Film, Orality and Performance: KEITA - L'HÉRITAGE DU GRIOT by Dani Kouyate."  Aug 1998 <> [Formerly available but link broken, as of Jan. 2001 ~ CA].

Téno, Jean-Marie. "Imagining Alternatives: African Cinema in the Year 2000." California Newsreel. 21 Aug. 2004 <>.

Thackway, Melissa. Africa Shoots Back: Alternative Perspectives in Sub-Saharan Francophone African Film. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 2003.

Ukadike, N[wachukwu] Frank. "African Cinematic Reality: The Documentary Tradition as an Emerging Trend." Research in African Literatures, 26.3(Fall 1995): 88 (9 pages). Rpt. Infotrac 2000 Expanded Academic ASAP: Article A20503127; and EBSCOHost Academic Search Elite (2004): Article No. 9712126215.

Abstract provided by Info Trac Article A17403897: "African cinematic development is analyzed in terms of its relationship to historical circumstances and general film practice. The deviation from a traditional viewpoint of truth and the gradual acceptance of a reformed view that is closer to reality has marked African cinema for the last two decades. A new documentary tradition has emerged that redefines African cinematic 'reality.'"
Abstract provided by EBSCOHost Academic Search Premier, Article 9509184658: "Examines new African documentary practices and the strategies utilized in the construction of cinematic `reality' of Africa. Dichotomous relationship between fiction and documentary film; Nature of the African documentary; Portrayal of social issues, cultural values and politics; Contextual analysis; Personal/ideological manifestations; Characteristics in documentary film practice."

Ukadike, Nwachukwu Frank. Black African Cinema. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1994.

"Viewing African Cinema: Six Pointers." California Newsreel: Library of African Cinema. 21 August 2004 <>.  

Additional Resources (old Links need to be verified & all formatted & alphabetized!)

Africa.  PBS Online - National Geographic / Thirteen / WNET NY Television Series, 8 episodes, 2001.  Companion website.

Africa Film & TV, "the international journal of the moving image in Africa."  Z Promotions Pvt. Ltd., Harare, Zimbabwe.
Africa Film & TV Newsflash 

Africa in the Picture [English language version].

African Cinema Conference List Serve (DSR Computer Sales & Service, Inc.)
African Social Message Films & Videos

African Studies website of Media Resource Center, Univ. of Califoria-Berkeley:
Site includes
African Cinema: Theatrical Movies about Africa, with descriptions & reviews, videographies and bibliography, related websites, and as well as Films and Documentaries by and about Women in Africa

The African Media Center (Michigan State Univ.) to offer a comprehensive online reference guide to film, video, and other audio-visual material related to sub-Saharan and North Africa, beginning Fall 1999. A primary goal is to introduce Africa to U.S. audiences and counteract "the abundance of inaccurate, dated, and stereotypical films in the marketplace."

African Films at the University of Florida, listing organized by region:

ArtMattan Productions "distribute films that focus on the human experience of black people in Africa, the Caribbean, North and South America and Europe," and show these films "during our annual Contemporary African Diaspora Film Festival in New York":

California Newsreel distributes "educational videos on African American life and history, race relations and diversity training, African cinema, Media and Society, labor studies, campus life and much more":
Be sure to browse California Newsreel's Library of African Cinema, "North America's primary source of African videos - feature films and documentaries both. African filmmakers capture Africa's past, scrutinize its present, and imagine its future, enabling viewers to see Africa through African eyes":

FESPACO [English version]: PanAfrican Film & Television Festival, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The "largest African film festival" states these goals: "To facilitate the screening of all African films"; to "Enable contacts and exchanges among film and audiovisual professionals"; and "To contribute to the expansion and development of African cinema as a means of expression, education and awareness raising."   FESPACO Theme 2003 (22 February - 1 March): "The Actor in the Creation and Promotion of African Films." 

African Art In/Out of Context, Davis Museum at Wellesley College 

Filmmakers Library, a searchable site, distributing "award-winning documentary films and videos primarily for educational use":

First Run / Icarus Films, New York, offers some 700 documentary films and videos, "mostly independent productions, [that] provide innovative and informative views of our rapidly changing world":
Subject listings include Films on Africa for African Studies:

UC Extension Center for Media and Independent Learning: "You must have a Java enabled browser to properly view this site":

Guggenheim Museum's 1996 exhibition, "Lights on Africa: A Film Series," offers an overview of several contemporary African films, with still photographs, including mention of Dani Kouyate's Keita: Heritage of the Griot and of Souleymane Cisse, director of Yeelen..

African Films and Filmmakers (George A. Smathers Libraries, Univ. of Florida): 

African Art at the University of Iowa Museum of Art
New Permanent Galleries
University of Iowa Museum of Art
Iowa City, IA (U.S.A.)
Curated by: Victoria L. Rovine
Curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

African Cinema and African Cinematic Representation: A Selected Bibliography/Videography of Materials in the UC Berkeley (Media Resources Center, Moffit Library, Univ. of California-Berkeley): 

Symbolic narratives/African cinema : audiences, theory and the moving image / edited by June Givanni, with an introduction by Imruh Bakari. Location: COCC Second Floor    Call No.: PN1993.5.A35 S96 2000

Alea, Tomas Guttierez. "The Viewer's Dialectic." Jump Cut 30.3 (1995): 48-62.

Anderson, Martha G., and Christine Mullen Kreamer. Wild Spirits: Strong Medicine: African Art and the Wilderness. Ed. Enid Schildkrout. Seattle and New York: U of Washington P and New York Center for African Art, 1989.

Armes, Roy, and Lizbeth Malkmus. Arab and African Film Making. London: Zed, 1991.

Armes, Roy. Third World Filmmaking and the West. Berkeley: U of California P, 1987.

Boughedir, Ferid. "The Principal Tendencies of African Cinema." African Films: The Context of Production. Ed. Angela Martin. London: British Film Institute, 1982.

Burton, Julianne. "Marginal Cinemas and Mainstream Critical Theory." Screen 26.3-4 (1985): 2-21.

Cham, Mbye B. Ex-Iles: Essays on Caribbean Cinema. Trenton, NJ: Africa World, 1992.

Cham, Mbye, and Claire Andrade-Watkins, eds. Black Frames: Critical Perspectives on Black Independent Cinema. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 1988.

Clark, Andrew F. "Lumumba: Death of a Prophet." American Historical Review 98.4 (1993): 1156-58.

Diawara, Manthia. African Cinema: Politics and Culture. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 1992.

Diawara, Manthia. "Oral Literature and Film: Narratology in Wend Kuuni." Pines and Willeman 199-211.

Gabriel, Teshome. "Third Cinema as Guardian of Popular Memory: Towards a Third Aesthetic." Questions of Third Cinema. Ed. Jim Pines and Paul Willemen. London: BF1, 1989. 53-64.

Gabriel, Teshome H., Third Cinema in the Third World: The Aesthetics of Liberation. Ann Arbor: UMI Research P, 1982.

Gabriel, Teshome H. "Towards a Critical Theory of Third World Films." Questions of Third Cinema. Ed. Jim Pines and Paul Willemen. London: British Film Institute, 1989. 30-52.

Gavron, Laurence. Y'a pas de problème. Impressions du cinéma africain. Documentary. France 1995, 65 min.

Gerima, Haile. "On Independent Black Cinema." Black Cinema Aesthetics. Ed. Gladstone E. Yearwood. Athens, OH: Center for Afro-American Studies, Ohio U, 1982. 106-13.

Gray, Christopher. Rev. of Keita: The Heritage of the Griot.. American Historical Review,101.4 (Oct 1996): 1144-1146.

Gugelberger, Georg M., ed. Marxism and African Literature. London: Currey, 1988.

Imperato, Pascal James. Buffoons, Queens, and Wooden Horsemen: The Dyo and Gouan Societies of the Bambara of Mali. New York: Kilima House, 1983.

James, Caryn. "Yeelen Based on Myths from Mali." New York Times 8 Oct. 1987: C37.

Kabore, Gaston, dir. Wend Kuuni. 1982. Distr. California Newsreel.

Katz, John Stuart, and Judith Milstein Katz. "Ethics and the Perceptions of Ethics in Autobiographical Film." Image Ethics: The Moral Rights of Subjects in Photographs, Film and Television. Ed. Larry Gross, John Katz, and Jay Ruby. New York: Oxford UP. 1988. 119-34.

Lane, Jim. "Notes on Theory and the Autobiographical Documentary Film in America." Wide Angle 15.3 (1993):21-36.

Leahy, James. "Yeelen (The Light)." Monthly Film Bulletin 55.658 (1988): 343-44.

Library of African Cinema 1995-1996. San Francisco: California Newsreel, 1995.

McNaughton, Patrick R. The Mande Blacksmiths: Knowledge, Power, and Art in West Africa. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP. 1988.

McNaughton, Patrick R. Secret Sculptures of Komo: Art and Power in Bamana (Bambara) Initiation Associations. Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1979.

Mudimbe, V. Y. "African Gnosis." African Studies Review 28.2/3 (1985): 149-233.

Nichols, Bill. Representing Reality. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1991.

Parmar, Pratibha, dir. Warrior Marks. 1993. Distr. Women Make Movies.

Pfaff, Francoise. The Cinema of Ousmane Sembene: A Pioneer of African Film. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1984.

Pfaff, Francoise. Twenty-Five Black African Filmmakers. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1988.

Pines, Jim, and Paul Willemen, eds. Questions of Third Cinema. London: British Film Institute, 1989.

Schissel, Howard. "No More Room for Maneuver." Africa Report 29.5 (1984): 63-66.

Sembene, Ousmane, dir. Camp de Thiaroye. 1988. Distr. New Yorker Films.

Sembene, Ousmane -----, dir. Guelwaar. 1994. Distr. New Yorker Films.

Solanas, Fernando E., and Octavio Gettino. "Toward a Third Cinema." Movies and Methods. Ed. Bill Nichols. Berkeley: U of California P, 1976.

Taylor, Clyde. "Film Reborn in Mozambique." Jump Cut 28 (1983): 30-31.

Taylor, Clyde. "Light from Darkness." Arete 2.5 (1990): 55-57.

Traore, Biny. "Keita and the Storyteller's Cultural Function." Écrans d'Afrique/African Screen 12.2 (1995): 25-30.

Trinh T. Minh-ha, dir. Reassemblage. 1982. Distr. Women Make Movies.

Trinh T. Minh-ha. Woman, Native, Other: Writinq Postcoloniality and Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1989.

Ukadike, Frank Nwachukwu. Black African Cinema. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

Weaver, Harold W. "The Politics of African Cinema." Black Cinema Aesthetics. Ed. Gladstone Yearwood. Athens: Ohio U Center for Afro-American Studies, 1982.

Zahan, Dominique. The Bambara. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1974.

Zahan, Dominique. The Religion, Spirituality and Thought of Traditional Africa. Trans. Kate Ezra and Lawrence M. Martin. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1979.

Zuesse, Evan M. Ritual Cosmos: The Sanctification of Life in African Religions. Athens, OH: Ohio UP, 1979

Of related interest:

Rasebotsa, Nobantu L. "Teaching African literature in the Department of English, University of Botswana." (Teaching African Literatures in a Global Literary Economy) Women's Studies Quarterly 25.3-4 (Fall-Winter 1997): 178(10pp. ) Full text available from Infotrac 2000 Expanded Academic Index Article A20754343.
Abstract: "The University of Botswana's English dept has been required to offer English literature classes to students who will later become literature instructors in junior and senior high schools. Botswana students are thus being exposed to African cultural heritage as well as English literary tradition. The teaching of African texts includes the nature of colonialism, its contradictions and negative effect on traditional African cultures and its tendency to relate colonial education with civilization."

Pigeon, Gerard. "Black Icons of Colonialism: African Characters in French Children's Comic Strip Literature." Social Identities 2.1 ( Feb 1996): 135 (27pp). (Full text available to COCC Library authorized users through FirstSearch: FastDoc, 1992-1998 OCLC.)

Mitchell-Powell, Brenda. "Booksellers, Librarians Celebrate African Literature at ZIBF'95." American Libraries 26.9 ( Oct 1995): 880 (2pp). The Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF), held in Harare, is "the premier publishing-trade rights event on the African subcontinent and a collective celebration of African writing and culture." "Participating luminaries included Nobel laureates Wole Soyinka and Nadine Gordimer, as well as Jack Mapanje, Yvonne Vera, Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Ninotchka Rosca, and Adewale Maja-Pearce." The theme of the 12th annual ZIBF'95 (1995) was "Human Rights and Justice," with seminars, workshops, and exhibits devoted to topics such as "Freedom of Expression" regarding individual and collective rights, and "the legal and economic implications of free speech for writers, publishers, and the media." Ironically, Gordimer caused an uproar when she exposed ZIBF trustees' decision "to rescind their acceptance of an exhibition by Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)." While hopeful progress is being made on several fronts, "[t]he legacy of colonialism haunts many commercial endeavors in Africa." Tade Akin Aina, representative for CODESRIA Books (Council for the Development of Economic and Social Research in Africa) and APNET panelist on academic publishing for library markets, remarked that urban perspectives are favored over rural (which for example represents 75% of the population of Zimbabwe), and "'inbuilt structural prejudices favor British over American, European over Asian, and Asian over African publishing,' thereby diminishing indigenous perspectives and values." "Ravaged by centuries of exploitation, mired in debt interest, and plagued by environmental and human catastrophes, Africans cannot afford to squander limited resources" on libraries, for example. Among the obstacles are named " subsistence survival,....inadequate support systems, limited professional education options, meager funding,...complicated order and distribution systems," [p]olitical instability, widespread illiteracy,...undervalued African scholarship, and the absence of a recreational reading culture...." (Full text available to COCC Library authorized users through FirstSearch: FastDoc, 1992-1998 OCLC.)

Mulder, Jan. "Children's Literature in African Languages-A Unique Project." Lantern 39.3 (Aug 1990): 72 (2pp). "The year 1990 is Year of the Reader in South Africa and World-wide it is the Year of Literacy. Not all people have had the privilege of learning to read. Illiteracy is still an immense problem in our community -- an ever-increasing problem!" begins this article. "Nowadays a high percentage of Black children in South Africa go to school where they are instructed by way of their mother-tongue for the first four school years, after which the medium of instruction is English." But more than the ability to read must be taught, according to Mulder: "even more important is [to teach] the desire to read." "The young should be surrounded by a wealth of beautiful, colourful children's books -- in their own language!"--and this is the focus of "one of the most ambitious projects ever in book production: the Class Library Project of the Department of Education and Training." (Full text available to COCC Library authorized users through FirstSearch: FastDoc, 1992-1998 OCLC.)

Roman, Susan. "Children's Literature Delegates Meet with South African Colleagues." American Libraries 27.1 ( Jan 1997): 19 (2pp). Under the auspices of the People to People Citizen Ambassador Program, U.S. and South African delegates met "to discuss strategies for the promotion of reading and family literacy in the changing nation." "The South Africans shared their concern for introducing books into a society with a history based on an oral tradition and an illiteracy rate of between 60 and 70%. The challenges facing librarians, teachers, publishers, and parents would appear to be overwhelming, but South Africans see this as an opportunity to support a democratic society, and they were optimistic that with some help any obstacles could be overcome." (Full text available to COCC Library authorized users through FirstSearch: FastDoc, 1992-1998 OCLC.)

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Short Cuts on this webpage:  Afrique, Je Te Plumerai | Algeria 1954 | Amistad | Art of the Dogon
Chinua Achebe: A World of Ideas | Chocolat | Cry Freedom | Dutch in South Africa | Everyone's Child
Garth Fagan's Griot New York | Hidden Faces | I Is a Long Memoried Woman | In Search of Human Origins
Keita: Heritage of the Griot | Mapantsula | "Master Harold"...and the Boys | Mountains of the Moon
Mysteries of Mankind | Orfeu Negro [Black Orpheus] | Reassemblage | South Africa Belongs to Us
Trading in Africans | Tunisia & Morocco...Independence | Warrior Marks | Wend Kuuni | Yeelen 

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