Part of Africa in Motion, an Edinburgh African film festival taking place from 20-29 October 2006 at Filmhouse Cinema in Edinburgh. For full details on the festival, please see: www.africa-in-motion.org.uk. For booking information, please see www.filmhousecinema.com
Sat 21 Oct at 3.00pm and Sun 29 Oct at 1.00pm | Filmhouse Cinema 3 | 2hrs37m | PG
This programme of films offers a very special opportunity to see a number of extremely rare and hard-to-find early African films. Some of these films have never been screened in the UK before; for some there is only one print still in existence, and original English subtitles have been created especially for the screenings at AiM.
This project, which is generously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), aims to 'rescue' early works from the late 1960s by both major and neglected African directors in order to develop a deeper understanding of African film history.
The Lost Classics programme will be introduced by Dr David Murphy, senior lecturer at the University of Stirling's School of Languages, Cultures and Religions, and one of the leading experts on African cinema in Britain. The screenings will be followed by a roundtable discussion.
Le Retour de l'Aventurier
Moustapha Alassane | Niger/France 1966 | 34m | 16mm | Haoussa & French with English subtitles
A young African returns home to Niger from the States with cowboy outfits in his suitcase for his closest friends. Soon, the friends - Black Cooper, Billy Walter, Queen Christine and the rest - are out riding the range, rustling the village chief's cattle (and some passing giraffes!), getting drunk, fighting and playing poker. A hilarious take on the classic motif of the African who leaves Africa for the West and returns home a changed man, that is, literally 'westernised'!
Concerto pour un Exil
Désiré Ecaré | Ivory Coast/France 1968 | 42m | 35mm | French with English subtitles
A group of African students in Paris are reaching the end of their studies. Should they return to their newly independent homelands or should they try to forge a home for themselves in a hostile and indifferent France? In a very moving and atmospheric film, clearly influenced by the French New Wave, Ecaré beautifully captures the radicalism, sensuousness and ennui of the late 1960s Latin Quarter, as well as his characters' sense of displacement and isolation.
Contras' City - UK Premiere
Djibril Diop Mambety | Senegal 1969 | 21m | DVD | Wolof with English subtitles
Mambety takes us on a guided tour of Dakar - a city of striking contrasts - on the back of a horse and cart. Devout Muslims pray on the sidewalk while young Catholics make their holy communion. The baroque splendour of the French-built city centre is a world away from the shacks and slums of the outskirts. A wry and witty look at urban life in 1960s Africa, the film reveals Mambety's marked sense of the beauty as well as the absurdity of everyday life.
Badou Boy - UK Premiere
Djibril Diop Mambety | Senegal 1970 | 60m | DVD | French and Wolof with English subtitles
The eponymous Badou Boy is the first in Mambety's series of charismatic but ultimately doomed rebels. A handsome young man in a paisley shirt, Badou Boy wanders from one offbeat adventure to another pursued by the comic but strangely menacing figure of the fat policeman. A hugely innovative African take on late 1960s psychedelia, with a kicking rock soundtrack, here in its embryonic form is the genius that Mambety would bring to fruition in his masterpiece Touki Bouki (screened on Wednesday, 25 Oct).
Lost Classics Roundtable Discussion
Sat 21 Oct from 6.15pm - 7.15pm | Filmhouse Guild Room | 1hr | Free ticketed event
A number of leading scholars of African film - including Emeritus Professor Roy Armes, Dr Jacqueline Maingard from the University of Bristol and Dr David Murphy from the University of Stirling - will take part in a roundtable discussion facilitated by film critic Mark Cousins, debating how the significance of the 'lost African classics' could lead to a reassessment of post-colonial African cinema. The discussion promises to offer fascinating insights into the historical development of African cinematic art. A must for all interested in cinema and African culture.
Africa in Motion: Edinburgh African film festival
Phone: +44 131 2282328
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