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Ninth Annual Cascade Festival of African Films
Photos and Story by Mark Evertz
KINI AND ADAMS (1997, Zimbabwe/Burkina Faso, 93 min.), directed by Idrissa Ouedraogo. Made in Zimbabwe with a South African cast, Kini and Adams is the story of two men, one a bachelor and one a family man, living in an isolated, impoverished rural area, who dream of moving to the city and becoming taxi drivers. A very rich film, Shakespearean in its blend of humor and drama, extremely powerful in its acting, skillfully filmed and edited, Kini and Adams was nominated for the Palme D’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. In English.
Thursday, February 4, 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., at the McMenamins Kennedy School Theatre, 5736 NE 33rd Ave. Thanks to the generosity of McMenamins, there will be an opening reception between the two shows.
TAAFE FANGA (1997, Mali, 95 min.), directed by Adama Drabo. Taafe Fanga ("Skirt Power") is a comic but insightful look at sexual politics in Africa today, though it is set among the Dogon of the 18th Century. Through trickery and magic, the men of a Dogon town are made to believe that their survival depends upon their exchanging gender roles with the women of the town. While the men gain a new understanding of the burdens borne by the women, they not surprisingly find that the women are in no hurry to return to their former situation. In Kaado and Bambara with English subtitles.
Thursday, February 11, noon, and Friday, February 12, 7:30 p.m., in Terrell Hall, Room 122, PCC Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth
TABLEAU FERRAILLE (1997, Senegal, 85 min.), directed by Moussa Sene Absa. Set in a fictional present day Senegal. It is fictional, but in many ways a very realistic portrayal of the realities of post-colonialist exploitation and corruption. The central character is Daam (played by music superstar Ismael L’), a young government official, who is European-educated and politically naive; he is no match for the conniving entrepreneur, Pr’sident. When Daam decides to take a second wife to join his beautiful but infertile first wife, he plays right into Pr’sident’s self-serving hands. In Wolof and French with English subtitles.
Thursday, February 11, 1:30 p.m., and Saturday, February 13, 7:30 p.m., in Terrell Hall, Room 122, PCC Cascade Campus.
ARISTOTLE’S PLOT (1996, Zimbabwe, 72 min.), directed by Jean-Pierre Bekolo. A multivalent meditation on African cinema, a film that speaks both to Hollywood and to other African filmmakers. The film is set in a nameless, allegorical southern African town, where a group of wannabe gangstas–who call themselves Van Damme, Bruce Lee, Nikita, Saddam, and Cinema–hang out at the Cinema Africa, feeding on a steady diet of action flicks. The earnest young Cineaste appears and tries to convince the government to clean up Cinema Africa, replacing Schwarzenegger with Semb’ne. When the government shows no interest, the Cineaste turns vigilante. In English.
Thursday, February 18, noon, and Friday, February 19, 7:30 p.m., in Terrell Hall, Room 122, PCC Cascade Campus.
SATURDAY FAMILY FILM DAY
Picc Mi (Little Bird) (1992, Senegal, 20 min.) In Wolof with English subtitles
Fary, L’Anesse (Fary, The Donkey) ( 1989, Senegal, 17 min.) In Wolof with English subtitles.
My Dinner with the Devil Snake (1987, USA, 15 min.) In English.
Baba Wagu’ Diakit’ will serve as the host of the Family Film Day. He is also the author and illustrator of "The Hunterman and the Crocodile," which won the Coretta Scott King Award for Best Illustrated Children’s Book in 1998. Saturday, February 20, 2 p.m. in Terrell Hall, Room 122 at PCC Cascade.
FARAW!/MOTHER OF THE DUNES (1997, Mali, 90 min.), directed by Abbdoulaye Ascofar’. Zamiatou finds herself with a husband broken both physically and mentally by his improper detainment in a government prison. Zamiatou, the eternal mother, is determined to protect her family, and she ultimately finds the inner wellsprings of resilience and ingenuity that will bring them nourishment. In Songho’ with English subtitles.
Thursday, February 18, 1:30 p.m., and Saturday, February 20, 7:30 p.m., in Terrell Hall, Room 122, PCC Cascade Campus.
THE LAND (1969, Egypt, 130 min.), directed by Yusuf Chahine. "The Land", which took eight years to make, is an epic story of the plight of villagers who want only to be left in peace to till their land and lead their lives. However, they are at the mercy of far-off bureaucrats who care only for the wishes of the large landowners. Like many films south of the Sahara, The Land brings to life the intimate relations between the peasant men and women and the land (as well as the water) that sustains them. It also shows what happens when they say enough is enough. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Thursday, February 25, noon, and Saturday, February 20, 7:30 p.m., in Terrell Hall, Room 122, PCC Cascade Campus.
MORTU NEGA (1988, Guinea-Bissau, 85 min.), directed by Flora Gomes. Set during the Liberation struggle (which ended in 1973) and immediately after, it is the story of one woman, Diminga, whose husband, Soko, is fighting on the front lines, her devotion to him and to the cause of independence, and the high human cost of the war against the Portuguese. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
Thursday, February 25, 2:00 p.m., and Saturday, February 27, 7:30 p.m., in Terrell Hall, Room 122, PCC Cascade Campus.
OGGUN: AN ETERNAL PRESENT (1981, Cuba, 55 min.), directed by Gloria Rolando. At first glance, Oggun might appear an odd choice for this festival, for it is set and filmed in Cuba. However, like last year’s Through the Door of No Return, it is all about the relationship between "Mother Africa" and the "New World." This creative documentary is set in the world of Santeria, the Afro-Cuban religion that is a syncretic blend of traditional West African Yoruba religion and Catholicism. The central figure is L’zaros R’s, the leading akpwon (singer) of Santeria and devotee of Oggun, the god of metals, iron, and warfare. A fascinating blend of ceremony, confession, fiction, and myth, the film serves to celebrate the bridge tying present-day Cubans back to their African roots. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Thursday, March 4, noon, and Friday, March 5, 7:30 p.m., in Terrell Hall, Room 122, PCC Cascade Campus. The evening screening, which is co-sponsored by the PCC-Cascade Women’s History Month Committee, will be followed by discussion led by individuals familiar with traditional Yoruba religion and individuals familiar with Santer’a.
EVERYONE’S CHILD (1996, Zimbabwe, 90 min.), directed by Tsitsi Dangarembga. Produced by the same organization that brought us Neria and More Time, Everyone’s Child is the first film by novelist Dangarembga, known for her award-winning novel Nervous Conditions. The film features music by some of Zimbabwe’s most popular musicians. In this film four children have lost their parents to AIDS, a tragically common situation in Zimbabwe and in much of Africa. Itai, the elder son, leaves for Harare to try to earn money to send back; he is soon lost among the many unemployed street kids of the capitol city. Tamari, the elder daughter, remains behind to take care of the two younger children. As is the case with other AIDS children, Tamari and her siblings are everyone’s child, and no one’s. She soon finds herself pursued by a promiscuous would-be benefactor; she risks becoming another victim of the same disease that killed her parents. Ultimately a call to action, Everyone’s Child asks its audience to consider its own responsibility in dealing with the terrible problem and legacy of AIDS in Africa. It has been seen throughout Anglophone Africa. In English
Thursday, March 4, 1:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 6, 7:30 p.m., in Terrell Hall, Room 122, PCC Cascade Campus.