THE ATHLETE [Atletu]
In Person: Rasselas Lekew (co-director, writer, producer and the film's star) and Davey Frankel (co-director, writer and producer)!
Running the streets of Rome in 1960, an unknown, barefoot Ethiopian man stunned the world by winning Olympic gold in the marathon — the first black African to do so. But the Olympic glory was only the beginning of the fascinating life story of Abebe Bikila. Rasselas Lakew gives an outstanding performance as Bikila and co-wrote, directed and produced this inspiring, multiple award-winning biopic. Best of Fest, 2009 Edinburgh Film Festival; Lions Award, 2010 Rotterdam Film Festival; Audience Award, 2010 Bahamas; Official Selection at over 30 film festivals.
DIR/SCR/PROD Davey Frankel, Rasselas Lakew; SCR Mikael Aemiro Awake; PROD Darryn Welch. US/Germany/Ethiopia, 2009, color, 85 min. In English and Amharic with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Post-screening reception courtesy of Abol Ethiopian Cuisine
Tickets $25/$20 AFI Members
No passes accepted
Thu, Mar 10, 7:00
In this thinly veiled allegory of contemporary Nigeria, a local official rails against corruption while instituting reforms that aren't quite working. As the town prepares to celebrate a customary ritual featuring the virginal Arugba, a young dancer begins to court the young woman. Their story unfolds against the backdrop of a corrupt society seeking cleansing, rebirth and nationhood, revealing a world in which modernity and tradition exist alongside each other but seldom in equilibrium.
DIR/SCR/PROD Tunde Kelani. Nigeria, 2009, color, 95 min. In Yoruba with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Thu, Mar 10, 9:45; Sat, Mar 12, 4:45
GUGU & ANDILE
A modern take on "Romeo and Juliet," this film examines the complex relationship between a Zulu girl, Gugu, and a Xhosa boy, Andile, who find a common bond despite their differences in a small township shortly after the repeal of apartheid. Winner of three African Movie Academy Awards.
DIR/SCR Minky Schlesinger; SCR Lodi Matsetela; PROD Bridget Pickering. South Africa, 2009, color, 96 min. In Zulu and Xhosa with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Fri, Mar 11, 5:30; Sat, Mar 12, 9:15; Mon, Mar 14, 9:05
BEYOND THE OCEAN [Après l'océan]
"Two friends from the Ivory Coast try their luck in Europe — with contrasting results — in Eliane de Latour's raucous look at the African immigrant underclass that exists beneath the radar of European society. Fueled by the charismatic performances of its two leads, this film captures the diversity, chaos and drive of undocumented immigrant life, whether African, Caribbean or Bosnian." – Jason Sanders, BAM/PFA
DIR/SCR Eliane de Latour. France/Côte d'Ivoire, 2008, color, 106 min. In English and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Fri, Mar 11, 7:30; Tue, Mar 15, 9:30
STATE OF VIOLENCE
Bobedi has just been made CEO of a large mining company in Johannesburg. Returning home from a celebration, he and his wife, Joy, discover an intruder in their home, who attacks them and murders Joy. Frustrated by the pace of justice, Bobedi decides to personally avenge her death. The film ultimately reveals that in a country with a violent political past, issues of forgiveness and revenge are far more complex than they seem.
DIR/SCR Khalo Matabane; PROD Jeremy Nathan, Michelle Wheatley. France/South Africa, 2010, color, 79 min. In English and Zulu with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Fri, Mar 11, 9:45; Mon, Mar 14, 7:20
A SCREAMING MAN [Un homme qui crie]
Adam, a pool attendant, is forced to give up his job, leaving him humiliated and resentful. Meanwhile his country is in the throes of a civil war, with rebel forces attacking the government and the authorities demanding that people contribute to the "war effort" with money or volunteer work. Adam is constantly harassed for his contribution but is penniless. In a moment of weakness, Adam makes a decision that he will forever regret. Winner of the Jury Prize, 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Mahamat-Saleh Haroun; PROD Florence Stern. France/Belgium/Chad, 2010, color, 92 min. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sat, Mar 12, 7:00; Sun, Mar 13, 4:30
CONGO IN FOUR ACTS
Four penetrating cinema verité documentary shorts give harrowing insight into conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Together, these four films form a whole with respect to both style and subject matter. (Courtesy of International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam)
DIR Dieudo Hamadi, Kiripi Katembo Siku, Patrick Ken Kalala, Divita Wa Lusala; PROD Steven Markovitz, Djo Tunda Wa Munga. Democratic Republic of the Congo/South Africa, 2010, color, 72 min. In French and Lingala with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sun, Mar 13, 2:45
SEASONS OF A LIFE
A couple adopt a child from an orphanage and employ a teenage helper to look after the child. Through a turn of events, the couple adopt a second child born from the illicit relationship between the father and the helper. The young woman who first agreed to the adoption of her son later wants her child back and sues for custody. This is a moving story about sexual abuse, the rights of women, the triumph of hope over despair and the enduring spirit of motherhood. (Courtesy of African Diaspora International Film Festival)
DIR/SCR Charles Shemu Joyah. Malawi, 2009, color, 102 min. In English. NOT RATED
Sun, Mar 13, 6:30
FOR THE BEST AND FOR THE ONION [Pour le meilleur et pour l'oignon]
Shot over the course of a growing season, this closely observed documentary captures the rhythms of onion-farming life in the village of Galmi, and shows how the vagaries of market prices and the harvest can affect the most intimate personal decisions.
DIR Elhadj Magori Sani. France/Niger, 2008, color, 52 min. In Hausa and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
HOME IS WHERE YOU FIND IT
Alcides Soares is a 16-year-old AIDS orphan, one of half a million living in Mozambique today. An American television writer and movie director gave Alcides a movie camera and taught him how to shoot; the result is a moving chronicle directed by Alcides himself. His journey to find a family and make a new life in a country that has been ravaged by AIDS is a story repeated millions of times every day throughout Africa. (Courtesy of United Nations Association Film Festival) Official Selection, 2009 AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival.
DIR Alcides Soares; PROD Neal Baer, Arthur Forney, Peter Jankowski, Dick Wolf, Chris Zalla. US/Mozambique, 2009, color, 34 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sun, Mar 13, 8:45