ArtMattan Productions
-
home page
films index
ordering information
events
about us
contact us
links
-
our films
FILMS FROM THE CARIBBEAN
previous category  next category
note: click on film graphics to see larger versions
-

Almacita, Sould of Desolato - directed by Felix De Rooy
Director: Felix De Rooy
From: Curacao
Year: 1986 African Film Minutes: 100
Language: Papamientu with English subtitles
Genre: drama

Based on old legends, the film depicts a fictional agricultural community in an isolated part of Curaçao at the turn of the century. The central theme of the film is the struggle between creative and destructive forces.

In the village of Desolato, Solem, the priestess protects the villagers from Alma Sola, the symbol of evil, the patriarch of the "shons", the white landowners. Alma Sola has the power to transform into male, female or animal and always strikes when vigilance of Desolato weakens.

Solem has sacrificed her fertility for the welfare of the community. Therefore she is not allowed to have a relationship with a man. Her longing for physical love provides Alma Sola with an opportunity to lead her stray.


Paul Robeson Prize for Best Diaspora Film, FESPACO 1991
35mm rental: Please inquire.
video sale: $90
DVD sale: $195
African Films

African Film

AlukuLiba

ALUKU LIBA:
MAROON AGAIN

A rare docu-drama about the Aluku or Boni, a Maroon ethnic group living mainly on the riverbank in
Maripasoula, southwest
French Guiana.
Click to Enlarge

Director: Nicolas Jolliet
From:Canada/French Guiana/Suriname
Year: 2009- Minutes: 90 mins
Language : Aluku with English Sub.
Genre: Docu-Drama
 
Rental:Please inquire.
DVD sale: $295


African Films

African Film

 


Ava and Gabriel - directed by Felix de Rooy
Director: Felix de Rooy
From: Holland/Curacao
Year: 1990 African Film Minutes: 100
Language: Dutch and Papamientu w/ English subtitles
Genre: drama

The story takes place on the island of Curacao in the late Forties.Upon request of Father Fidelius, parish priest of St. Anna's, the Surinam painter Gabriel Goedbloed arrives from Holland to paint a mural of the Virgin Mary in St. Anna's Church. The drama unfolds from different angles. First the clergy and locals are confused by the fact that the painter is black, originating from Surinam, but resettled in The Hague, where he received a Fine Art education.

The close knit Antillian society did not welcome strangers who would not conform to their colonial way of life in those days. Contributing factors arise when he chooses a young teacher, Miss Ava Recordina, who is from mixed origin, to be his model for the painting of the Virgin Mary. Ava is engaged to the white police major Carlos Zarius who is not too happy with his fiancé posing for the painter.

The fact that the Dutch Governor's wife, Louise van Hansschot, is interested in Gabriel also fuels the tension. In the end, Gabriel Goedbloed falls victim to the controversies, hypocrisies and intrigues that have arisen around his person and his paintings.


Jury Prize, Festival International de Cine Latino Americano, Havana Cuba, 1990
35mm rental:Please inquire.
DVD sale: $295 - 2 DVD set with Papa's Song


African Films
African Film

Catch a Fire -
Director: Menelik Shabaz
From: Jamaica and UK
Year: 1995 - Minutes: 30
Language: English
Genre: docu-drama

Catch a Fire tells the story of Deacon Paul Bogle, often described as a 19th century Malcom X. 30 years after the end of slavery in Jamaica, the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865 provoked outrage in Victorian Britain shaping race and land attitudes. The story is constructed using extensive interviews with Paul Bogle's grand son as well as archive material.

DVD sale: $145
Jamaica and UK
African Film

DANY LAFERRIERE:
Films from a Poet's Imagination

The mystery and wonder of modern-day Haiti come alive in this two-film set based on the work of writer-director Dany Laferriere with the two films How to Conquer America in One Night (96 mins) and On the Verge of a Fever (88 mins).

Dany Laferriere

click to enlarge

HOW TO CONQUER AMERICA IN ONE NIGHT / COMMENT CONQUERIR L'AMERIQUE EN UNE NUIT

Newly arrived in Montréal, and determined to conquer North America by charming blonde-haired women, Gégé, a Haitian in his thirties, lands up at Fanfan's - his nostalgic uncle who has given up poetry for a good old taxicab and dreams of returning to his homeland. Over the course of one night filled with humor and friendship -- highlighted by a party attended by twins Andrée and Denise, two Quebecers with contrasting charms -- the two fun-loving guys take stock of their lives, memories and fantasies.

ON THE VERGE OF A FEVER / LE GOUT DES JEUNES FILLES

Against a backdrop of poverty, fear, and the brutal dictatorship of Haiti in 1971, ON THE VERGE OF A FEVER (Le Gout des Jeunes Filles) tells the story of Fanfan, a 15-year-old boy who wants to experience life for himself with his streetwise friend Gégé. Having lived a sheltered life with his overprotective mother, Fanfan experiences a bizarre, terrifying incident with Haiti’s secret police, the Tonton-Macoute. He decides to hide out at the house of his beautiful neighbors. There, he is trapped between his fear of getting caught and his desire to fulfill his deepest fantasy. This colorful drama is based on Haitian novelist Dany Lafèrriere’s Le Gout de Jeunes Filles.

DVD sale: $295

African Films

Fanon

The First Rasta


Director:
Helene Lee
From: France/Jamaica
Year: 2010- Minutes:85mins
Language : English
Genre: Documentary

A fascinating, very well researched documentary which presents a thorough investigation of Leonard Percival Howell's life (1893-1981), the initiator and catalyst of the Rastafari Movement and the man considered by many as the founder of that movement.

 
DVD sale: $295
African Films


African Film



How to Conquer America in One Night

Director: Cheikh Djemai
From: Martinique/France/Algeria/Tunisia
Year: 2001African Film Minutes: 52
Language: French with English Subtitles
Genre: Documentary

Frantz Fanon, was a psychiatrist, originally from Martinique, who had become a spokesman for the Algerian revolution against French colonialism. Embittered by his experience with racism in the French Army, he gravitated to radical politics, Sartrean existentialism and the philosophy of black consciousness known as negritude. His 1952 book, ''Black Skin, White Masks,'' offers a penetrating analysis of racism and of the ways in which it is internalized by its victims. While secretly aiding the rebels of the Algerian anti-colonial war as a doctor in Algeria, Fanon cared for victims and perpetrators alike, producing case notes that shed invaluable light on the psychic traumas of colonial war. Expelled from Algeria in 1956, Fanon moved to Tunis where wrote for El Moudjahid, the rebel newspaper, founded Africa's first psychiatric clinic, and wrote several influential books on decolonization. Frantz Fanon, His Life, His Struggle, His Work traces the short and intense life of one of the great thinkers of the 20th century.


VHS sale: $90
DVD sale:
$295 - 2 DVD set with Amilcar Cabral
African Films

image

Jacques Roumain:
Passion for a Country


Director: Arnold Antonin
From: Haiti
Year:2008 Minutes: 111
Language:Creole and French with English subtitles
Genre: Historical Documentary

WINNER Paul Robeson Award FESPACO 2009. Official selection, African Diaspora Film Festival 2008.


This exploration of Haitian society of the late 19th and early 20th centuries focuses on the tormented life of one of Haiti’s most important authors and prominent political figures, Jacques Roumain. In his perceptive writings, Roumain raised questions about the issues facing Haiti that remain relevant today.

Some of Jacques Roumain’s best writings were translated by the legendary African-American poet Langston Hughes. The question is raised: what legacy has Jacques Roumain left for the future of Haitian youth.


DVD sale: $245
African Films
African Film
The Journey of the Lion -
Director: Fritz Baumann
From: Jamaica and Germany
Year: 1992 - Minutes: 90
Language: English
Genre: docu-drama

Brother Howie is a Jamaican Rastifari who dreams of the land of his ancestors: Africa. On a journey in search of his roots and his identity he travels through three continents and - with great humor and sensitivity - discovers the world...and Africa.

16mm rental:Please inquire.
DVD sale: $295 Part of "Jamaican Music & Soul" 2 DVD set with "Made in Jamaica "
Jamaica and Germany

African Film


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

-

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: $295

In 2-disc DVD Afro-Cuba Yesterday and Today. With Sara Gomez: An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker

African Films

African Film

Made in Jamaica


Director: Jerome Laperrousaz
From: Jamaica/France
Year: 2006 Minutes: 110
Language: English
Genre: Musical Documentary

MADE IN JAMAICA is a powerful portrait of the leaders of the Jamaican music movement and how Reggae in particular became a worldwide phenomenon. It is the story of how a small island nation in the Caribbean of only three million people took their human experience and turned it into songs full of emotions that resonate around the world.” Reggae is Jamaica’s blues: a music of both desperation and hope.

Never before has a single feature film presented the leaders of the Reggae music movement with the intensity that MADE IN JAMAICA does.  The film features Grammy Award Winner Toots, Gregory Isaacs, Bunny Wailer (Bob Marley’s brother), 2006 Grammy Award Nominees Third World, Shia and Cat Core, Beres Hammond, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, Alaine Laugthon, Tanya Stephens, Bounty Killer, Blessed, Elephant Man, Lady Saw, Joseph Current, Vybz Kartel, Brick and Lace, Dr. Marshall, Capleton, Koolant, and Left Side & Esco.

 

DVD sale: $295
Part of "Jamaican Music & Soul" 2 DVD set with "The Journey of the Lion"

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



DVD sale: $245
African Films
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

The President Has AIDS?

Title: The President Has AIDS?
Running Time: 110 Minutes
Year: 2007
Country: Haiti
Language: Creole/French with English subtitles
Director:  Arnold Antonin
Screenplay: Gary Victor
Cinematography: Camilo Widmaier
Editor: Oldy Auguste
Producer:  Arnold Antonin
Music: Boulot Valcourt and John Mogène
Sound: Lazaro
Cast:Jimmy Jean-Louis. Dao; Jessica Geneus   Nina

 

 


The President Has AIDS
click to enlarge

AWARDS

FESPACO 2007   Winner   Paul Robeson Award Best Film by a Director from the African Diaspora Arnold Antonin

Special Mention  Vues d’Afrique ,  Montreal, 2007

Special Award of the Burkina Faso’s Comitteee of struggle against AIDS

 

Jimmy Jean-Louis -- featured among the cast of the television phenomenon “Heroes,”  -- stars as musician extraordinaire in denial, President, in this Haitian comedy-drama about the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Dao is the biggest movie star in Haiti, the self-proclaimed "President of Compas." He has women falling at his feet and men emulating him. He feels invincible-living the life of a rock star--sex, drugs and alcohol--except that he can no longer hide his illness which is threatening to derail his career. Despite pressure from his manager, he refuses to get tested for AIDS, turning instead to rituals, spells, and the church. At one of his concerts, he rescues Nina from the leery advances of Larieux, a wealthy and powerful businessman, who Nina's mother wants her to marry. As romance blossoms between Dao and Nina, who likes Dao despite his fame, not because of it, Larieux plots his revenge. Also starring Riccardo Lefeuvre and Jessica Geneus. 

DVD sale: $245
African Films

African Film

AlukuLiba

RASTAS & MAROONS:
REBELS OF THE CARIBEEAN

RASTAS & MAROONS is a 2-DVD set featuring The First Rasta (Jamaica/France) a revealing documentary about Leonard Percival Howell, the man who created the Rasta Movement and Aluku Liba, Maroon Again  (French Guiana/Canada), a rare docu-drama about the Aluku or Boni, a Maroon ethnic group living mainly on the riverbank in Maripasoula, southwest French Guiana.
Click to Enlarge

 
image
Rental:Please inquire.
DVD sale: $395


African Films
-

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
click to enlarge

Donde Esta Sara Gomez ? / 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.


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

-

previous category  next category