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FILMS FROM SOUTH AMERICA
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Aboliçao -
Director: Sozimo Bulbul
From: Brazil
Year: 1988 - Minutes: 150
Language: Portuguese with English Subtitles
Genre: documentary

Aboliçao is a startling look at the racial situation of Black Brazilians in contemporary Brazil. The director asks the following question to Black Brazilians from diverse walks of life -- musicians, politicians, activists, people in government, ambassadors, social workers, sport stars, actors, street kids, farmers, etc… -- “We are celebrating 100 years since the abolition of slavery in Brazil, what does the abolition of slavery mean to you?”… Divided in sections addressing political, economic, social and cultural issues, Aboliçao contributed to a new analysis of the Black experience in Brazil. An indispensable title to have in a library for the study of the Black presence in Latin America.


DVD sale: $245
Brazil

African Film

Abdias do Nascimento

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ABDIAS DO NASCIMENTO

Loving and revealing documentary about Afro-Brazilian scholar/writer/activist /politician Abdias do Nascimento (1914-2011), a significant figure in and leader of Brazil’s Black movement who founded the Black Experimental Theater in 1944 and was very active in the international Pan-African Movement.
More Information Here

 

DVD sale: $295


Director:Aida Marques
From:Brazil
Year: 2011- Minutes: 95 mins
Language : Portuguese with English Sub.
Genre: Documentary
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Afro-Latino Music
This two-disc set showcases the influence and importance of African sounds, rhythms, and beats to the music of Latin America.

Afro-Latino Music - 2-disc set
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Afro-Latino Music - 2-disc set  

SONS OF BENKOS / LOS HIJOS DE BENKOS
(Lucas Silva, Colombia, 2003, 52 mins.)
Sons of Benkos shows the evolution of Afro-Colombian music over generations while exploring the presence of African culture in Colombia. The title pays homage to Benkos, an important black leader in the fight for freedom during the era of slavery in Colombia. The title "Sons of Benkos" suggests the ongoing struggle for the recognition of African influences on Colombia's artistic heritage.

HANDS OF GOD / LAS MANOS DE DIOS
(Las Manos de Dios, Delia Ackerman, Peru, 2004, 54 mins.)

Hands of God
tells the story of Peruvian percussionist Julio "Chocolate" Algendones, a legendary musician famous for his speed and dexterity on drums. Mixing traditional African influences with contemporary jazz, Algendones composed, taught, and performed musical styles all over the world. "The stunning dexterity and mastery of famous Afro-Peruvian percussionist Julio 'Chocolate' Algendones are on display in this affectionate documentary [Hands of God] about the great master" (Allaboutjazz.com). In Spanish with English subtitles.

Lucas Silva/Delia Ackerman---Colombia/Peru---2003/2004---106 mins.



DVD sale: $295

African Film



Aleijadinho, Passion, Glory and Torment
Director: Geraldo Santos Pereira
From: Brazil
Year: 2001 African Film Minutes: 100
Language: Portuguese with English subtitles
Genre: drama

Set in 19th century Brazil - at a time when slavery was still at the foundation of the Latin American economy - this fascinating historical drama is loosely based on the life of Black sculptor Antonio Francisco Lisboa "Aleijadinho," one of the greatest sculptors of Latin America.

35mm rental:Please inquire.
DVD sale: $195
African Films

African Film

Tango Negro

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BLACKS IN LATIN AMERICA is a 2-DVD set featuringTango Negro: The African Roots of Tango (Argentina and Uruguay) a revealing documentary that traces the origins of tango back to the slave trade between Africa and South America and explains how the music and dance evolved into a Latin American form with myriad styles and La Playa D.C. from Colombia (Official Selection, Cannes 2012), about an Afro-Colombian teenager who fled the country's Pacific coast pushed out by the ar, and faces the difficulties of growing up in the city of Bogota.

DVD sale: $395

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African Film

Candombe -
Director: Rafael Deugenio
From: Uruguay
Year: 1993 - Minutes: 16
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Genre: docu-drama

More than two hundred years ago, there was an influx into Uruguay of slaves from Africa whom, after being freed, continued to make up the poorest and most marginalized strata in society. Fernado Nunez, a black man, a musician, and a maker of drums, sees himself as the heir to "Candombe", an important social and cultural legacy from his slave forefathers. The official history and culture of Uruguay, on the other hand, which has never acknowledged this contribution to the degree which it deserves, continues to marginalize expressions of black culture. Fernando Nunez and his friends from the Barrio Sur back street quarter of Montevideo have decided to fight to keep these important cultural roots alive in the consciousness of the Uruguayan people.

16mm rental:Please inquire.
DVD sale: $245 bonus title in Adios Momo
Uruguay
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Denying Brazil - directed by Joel Zito Araujo
Director: Joel Zito Araujo
From: Brazil
Year: 2000 African Film Minutes: 92
Language: Portuguese with English subtitles
Genre: documentary

A documentary film about the taboos, stereotypes, and struggles of Black actors in Brazilian television "soaps." Based on his own memories and on a sturdy body of research evidence, the director analyzes race relations in Brazilian soap operas, calling attention to their likely influence on Black people's identity-forming processes.

"As a sociological dissection on how popular entertainment can shape racial prejudice and help to build racial justice, 'Denying Brazil' is a strong and significant work of intelligence."  - Phil Hall, Filmthreat

35mm rental:Please inquire.
DVD sale: $195
African Films

African Film


The Exception and the Rule - Joel Zito Araujo

Director:
Joel Zito Araujo
From: Brazil
Year: 1997 African Film Minutes: 38
Language: Portugues with English subtitles
Genre: documentary

On March 13, 1992, Vicente Francisco do Espirito Santo, a Black Brazilian who worked in a government-owned electricity company, was fired from his job.  It did not take long for him to realize that his dismissal was directly linked to his skin color.  Encouraged by his union and a strong Black empowerment movement, he began a judicial process which he won, and as a result was reinstated in his former position.  This informative documentary about an unknown victory illustrates how the courts of Brazil did recognize the company's prejudice and racism in a country where such realities are usually dismissed as atypical.

DVD sale: $145
African Films
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Adios Momo

 

Director: Leonardo Ricagni
From: Uruguay
Year: 2005African Film Minutes: 100
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Genre: drama

Obdulio is an 11-year-old Afro-Uruguayan boy who lives with his grandmother and sells newspapers for a living while he cannot read or write. Obdulio is not interested in going to school until he finds out that the night watchman of the newspaper's office is a charismatic magical "Maestro" who not only introduces him to the world of literacy but also teaches him the real meaning of life through the lyrics of the "Murgas" (Carnival Pierrots) during the mythical nights of the irreverent and provocative Uruguayan carnival.

35mm rental:Please inquire.
DVD sale: $245
DVD bonus film: Candombe

African Films


Hands

Human Behavior -
Director: Flavio Leandro
From: Brazil
Year: 1995 - Minutes: 12
Language: silent
Genre: drama

In 1993, death squads opened fire on a group of sleeping street children camped on the steps of a cathedral in Rio de Janeiro’s central financial district, killing six. This event, later called the Candelaria massacre, is vividly depicted in this short film about the plight of street children in Brazil.
35mm rental:Please inquire.
DVD sale: $145
Brazil

African Film

La Playa D.C.


Director:
Juan Andres Arango Garcia
From:
Colombia / Brazil / France
Year:
2012- Minutes:90mins
Language :
Spanish with English Subtitles
Genre:
Drama


Tomas, an Afro-Colombian teenager who fled the country’s Pacific coast pushed out by the war, faces difficulties of growing up in a city of exclusion and racism. When Jairo, his younger brother and closer friend disappear, Tomas is forced to leave his home to look for him.

Josephine Baker
click to enlarge

Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival 2012.

 


DVD sale: $295

Rental/Theatrical Run: Please e-mailt info@africanfilm.com


African Films

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LA ULTIMA RUMBA DE PAPA MONTERO (THE LAST RUMBA OF PAPA MONTERO) - directed by Octavio Cortazar
Director: Octavio Cortazar
From: Martinique/Cuba
Year: 1992 African Film Minutes: 52
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Genre: docu-drama

A fascinating film on the rhythmic dance genre known as Rumba, La Ultima Rumba de Papa Montero dances around the life of Papa Montero, one of the famous rumberos of Cuba, assassinated during carnival. A discovery of Cuban traditions and every day life told through beautiful images, sensual music and dance. The use of Afro-Cuban mythology is the force behind the characters as orishas guide the characters' fate.

DVD sale: $295 Part of 2-set DVD Afro-Cuba: Yesterday and Today which also includes Sara Gomez: An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker.
African Films

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Looking for Life - directed by Claudette Coulanges
Director: Claudette Coulanges
From: Haiti/Germany
Year: 1999 African Film Minutes: 60
Language: Creole and French with English subtitles
Genre: documentary

Looking for Life introduces the viewer to two women, Anne-Rose and Rosemene, who each one has their own particular way of battling through life. The former makes lunches in a factory yard in Port-au-Prince and sells her meals to the factory workers; the latter is employed in the same factory as a production worker making pullovers and T-shirts. Every day she buys her midday meal on credit from Anne-Rose. Through the connection between these two women the film shows part of their daily work and the constant battle for survival that they lead together with other women in Haiti. Going beyond this, however the film demonstrates the extent to which the importation of North American goods has brought about the collapse of Haitian regional production and ruined Haiti's economy. The connection between the two topics of the film reveals the significant role that Haitian women of today play in an economy that has been bled dry.

16mm rental:Please inquire.
DVD sale: $195


African Films

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Maria Bethania

Director: Georges Gachot
From: Brazil/Switzerland
Year: 2005African Film Minutes: 82
Language: Portuguese with English subtitles
Genre: Musical Documentary
In his captivating film, Georges Gachot invites us to enter the universe of Maria Bethania, the famous Brazilian singer. Narrated by Bethania herself, the film not only gives us an insight into the intimate sphere of Maria Bethania's creative process, but focuses on the history of Brazilian music. First a muse of the so-called counter culture, and then the queen of romantic ballads, Maria Bethania chronicles her musical life experience in relation to Brazilian society's development. In addition to this, filmmaker Gachot gathers together a fantastic ensemble of contributors including Gilberto Gil, Nana Caymmi, Miucha, Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso, all of them witnesses and participants to some of the greatest music history of our time.

video sale: $125
DVD sale: $245
African Films

African Film

Maluala

Director: Sergio Giral
From: Cuba
Year: 1979 African Film Minutes: 95
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Genre: Historical Drama

 

Maluala takes us into a palenque, a settlement of escaped slaves hidden somewhere in Cuba's eastern mountains, where discord is sown between black "kings" by clever subversives working for the Spanish government.

"Sergio Giral is the best known of the Black Cuban directors and his previous films were historical observations of the period of slavery in Cuba, the gradual rise of rebellion against colonial traditions, and the ultimate freedom that resulted. Maluala is the most striking addition to this genre. The action takes place during the last century in the region of Maluala. Gallo, the black chieftain, together with his cohort, Coba, present a petition for land and liberty to the colonial government. Governor Escudero offers liberty if the rebellious villages will be dismantled and their men offer themselves in surrender. He promises that they will be freed shortly thereafter. Three chieftains agree, but Gallo and Coba refuse…. Giral has mounted Maluala with colorful ritual and acting. Samuel Claxton, as Gallo, is highly stylized in the heroic tradition. It is an absorbing adventure film wrought from historical events which appear violent, but Giral constantly implants into every image the necessity for unity among people in order to combat man's seemingly casual desire to subjugate mankind, in the struggle for power and undefined ambition." ~ San Francisco Film Festival, 1980

“The historically lucid intrigues of Maluala (1979), where the Afrocentric leadership of fugitive palenque communities is pitted against each other COINTELPRO-style by Spanish colonists, is one of those Cuban films that were forged in a righteous, red-hot ferment but still found the courage and wit to ask questions about the society around them.”
~ Gary Dauphin, The Village Voice

video sale: $90
DVD sale: $195
African Films
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Mestizo -
Director: Mario Handler
From: Venezuela
Year: 1989 - Minutes: 82
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Genre: drama

The action takes place in a village on the Venezuelan coast, a place of fishermen and big haciendas. Jose Ramon, son of a white aristocrat and a humble black fisher-women, is trying to define his own identity while dealing with social and sexual conflicts, power, culture, the law, and the impossible relationship he has with both his parents.

35mm rental:Please inquire.
video sale: $90
DVD sale: $195
Venezuela
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Natal da Portela -
Director: Paulo Cezar Saraceni
From: Brazil
Year: 1988 - Minutes: 100
Language: Portuguese w/ English Subtitles
Genre: drama

The name ‘Natal da Portela’ is historically attached to the cultural identity of Brazil. Natal da Portela created the first escola de samba in Rio de Janeiro. The schools of samba are the soul of carnival in Brazil and major reservoirs of Afro-Brazilian culture. The film depicts the life of Natal da Portela as a young man from the favelas--the slums of the northern part of Rio de Janeiro--up to the creation of “la Portela”, the school of samba he created. The principal role played by Milton Goncalves, one of the major Black actors in Brazil, gives the story an authentic flavor rarely seen in films portraying the contemporary life of Black people in Brazil. This is a film filled with joy, music and laughter. “Natal da Portela” is also a film that narrates the story of contemporary Brazil and the legacy of African people in that country. Several other major actors enrich the story, Zeze Mota well known for her role in “Quilombo” and the dean of Black Brazilian actors, the great Grande Otello much remembered for his major role in Rio Zona Norte and Macunaima just to mention a few titles.

35mm rental:Please inquire.
video sale: $90
DVD sale: $195
Brazil
African Film

PLACIDO, THE BLOOD OF THE POET - directed by Sergio Giral
Director: Sergio Giral
From: Cuba
Year: 1986 African Film Minutes: 96
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Genre: drama

Placido portraits the dramatic story of Gabriel de la Concepcio Valdes (Placido), a mulatto Cuban poet accused of leading a conspiracy against the Spanish colonial government. Preoccupied by the development of Afro-Hispanic artist and craftsmen of the mid XIX century, Placido was executed after living a short and controversial life as a man between two races and between a cruel reality and a dream of freedom.

DVD sale: $195
African Films

African Film

TANGO NEGRO, THE AFRICAN ROOTS OF TANGO



Tango Negro, The African Roots of Tango by Angolan filmmaker Dom Pedro explores the expression of Tango’s Africanness and the contribution of African cultures in the creation of the tango.

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Directed by Dom Pedro, 2013, 93 min., France, Documentary, French/Spanish/ English subt.
DVD sale: $295
African Films

African Film

RACE AND HISTORY IN BRAZIL


Joel Zito Araujo/Geraldo Santos Pereira---Brazil---2000---192 mins.



Race and its impact on the art and history of Brazil are highlighted in this two-disc set with Joel Zito Araujo's documentary Denying Brazil (A Negacao do Brasil, 92 mins.) and Geraldo Santos Pereira's Aleijadinho: Passion, Glory and Torment (Aleijadinho: Paixao, Gloria e Suplicio, 100 mins.)

Denying Brazil
A Negacao do Brasil

A documentary film about the taboos, stereotypes, and struggles of Black actors in Brazilian television "soaps." Based on his own memories and on a sturdy body of research evidence, the director analyzes race relations in Brazilian soap operas, calling attention to their likely influence on Black people's identity-forming processes.

Aleijadinho: Passion, Glory and Torment
Aleijadinho: Paixao, Gloria e Suplicio

Set in 18th century Brazil - a time when slavery was still the foundation of the Latin American economy - this fascinating historical drama is loosely based on the life of Black sculptor Antonio Francisco Lisboa "Aleijadinho," one of the greatest sculptors of Latin America.


DVD sale: $295
African Films
African Film

Sara Gomez: An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker

Director: Alessandra Muller
From: Cuba/Switzerland
Year: 2005African Film Minutes: 76
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Genre: Documentary


Sara Gomez
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Sara Gomez: An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker is a rich, multilayered documentary about Afro-Cuban director Sarah Gomez. Born in 1943, she studied literature, piano, and Afro-Cuban ethnography before becoming the first female Cuban filmmaker. A woman of great intelligence, independence and generosity, she was a revolutionary filmmaker with intersecting concerns about the Afro-Cuban community and the value of its cultural traditions, women's issues, and the treatment of the marginalized sectors of society. Through archival footage of her works and interviews with her children and husband Germinal Hernandez, cast members of her best-know film De cierta manera,as well as colleagues and friends, we get closer to a filmmaker who invented new landscapes and brought together opposite worlds.

VHS sale: $90
DVD sale: $295 Part of 2-set DVD Afro-Cuba: Yesterday and Today which also includes The last Rumba of Papa Montero.

African Films
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Soul in the Eye -
Director: Zozimo Bulbul
From: Brazil
Year: 1974 - Minutes: 8
Language: silent
Genre: drama

This short film on the legacy of culture and survival bestowed by enslaved Africans brought to the Americas features the music of John Coltrane.

16mm rental:Please inquire.
Brazil
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Susana BACA, Memoria Viva
Director: Mark Dixon
From: Peru/Belgium
Year: 2003 African Film Minutes: 54
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Genre: Musical documentary

Susana Baca is not only a champion in the performance and preservation of Afro-Peruvian heritage, but also an elegant singer whose shimmering voice sings of love, loss and life. Susana and her husband Ricardo Pereira have founded the Instituto Negrocontinuo “Black Continuum” in Lima, a spirited facility for the exploration, expression, and creation of Black Peruvian culture. While Baca has dedicated herself to researching and performing virtually all forms of Afro-Peruvian folklore, it is the lando that has become her trademark. This slow to mid-tempo, highly evocative mix of Spanish, Indigenous and African rhythms has become what the son is to Cuba, or the samba to Brazil--the lando is the sound of Black Peru.

video sale: $90
DVD sale: $195
African Films

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Sons of Benkos

Director: Sons of Benkos
From: Colombia/France
Year: 2003African Film Minutes: 52
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Genre: Documentary
Director: Silva Lucas

Official selection, African Diaspora
Film Festival 2006.

Sons of Benkos
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An entertaining documentary that explores the African culture of Colombia through music. The film presents the music of the Sons of Benkos, one of the most important Black leaders in the fight for freedom during the times of slavery in Colombia. The film also shows the evolution of Afro-Colombian music over time through the fusion of Cuban and contemporary African rhythms with traditional Afro-Colombian music.

DVD sale: $195
African Films

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