May 10, 2021/Brooklyn, NY—From Friday, May 28 through Thursday, June 3, BAM presents FilmAfrica, in partnership with African Film Festival, Inc, showcasing the best contemporary narrative, documentary, and short films from Africa and the diaspora. FilmAfrica is the cinematic companion to BAM’s 44th annual DanceAfrica Festival, which includes a special virtual dance performance, workshops, a virtual bazaar, and virtual art, running May 4—June 14.
This year, in coordination with DanceAfrica’s celebration of Haiti, FilmAfrica highlights films from and about the Caribbean nation including Raoul Peck’s Meurtre à Pacot (2014), set in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, the film evokes the tension of Pasolini’s 1968 classic Teorema; Eve Blouin & Raynald Leconte’s In the Eye of the Spiral (2014) looks at the Haitian artistic and philosophical movement Spiralism, the film screens with Real Maravilloso (Raynald Leconte, 2018) which examines the impact of Magical Realism across Caribbean nations; Guetty Felin’s Ayiti Mon Amour (2016) is a neorealist fable of grief and healing set five years after the devastating 2010 earthquake; and Philippe Niang’s Toussaint Louverture (2012) depicts the slave revolt by Louverture that led to the independence of Haiti.
The festival lineup also includes Matwetwe (Kagiso Lediga, 2018), set in the South African township of Atteridgeville, the film follows a young man and his best friend as they’re swept up in the biggest hustle of their lives; The Mercy of the Jungle (Joël Karekezi, 2018) about two Rwandan soldiers who are left behind in the jungles of eastern Congo, forcing them to embark on an odyssey through one of the most beautiful and treacherous forests on earth; Mrs. F. (Chris van der Vorm, 2019) follows the title character as she gathers women to participate in a gender equality and empowerment project in Nigeria; and Seeds: Black Women in Power (Éthel Oliveira & Júlia Mariano, 2020). Following the assassination of activist Marielle Franco, Brazil’s 2018 elections saw the largest number of black women enter local campaigns in the country’s history. Seeds follows the campaigns of a group of women in Rio de Janeiro.
FilmAfrica also includes a stunning program of shorts films: Jojolo (Lebert Bethune, 1966), In the Heart of Vivianne Gauthier (Marie-Claude Fournier, 2017), Tezen (Shirley Bruno, 2016), The Prophetess (Sylvie Weber, 2018), Razana (Haminiaina Ratovoarivony, 2018), and Al-Sit (Suzannah Mirghani, 2020).
All films will screen May 28—June 3 on BAM’s virtual streaming platform at BAM.org.
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