What Mali Blues achieves as a film is a vivid exposition of the musical landscape of Mali. By following each of the four subjects, the film, brings you the past and the present sounds in all its rich diversity.
On Amil Shivji’s documentary film, Wahenga, we are privy to a series of conversations between old musician, their memories of the past and their quest to revive a fading musical tradition by becoming the ancestors.
'Tanzania Transit' may be one of my favorite films of 2018. Aside from the bonus of this documentary gifting me my first onscreen feel of Tanzania, it’s a train movie somewhat in the mold of South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s 'Snowpiercer'. Of course, 'Tanzania Transit' is not a dystopian quasi-satirical thriller like Joon-ho’s film but they share... Continue Reading →
The giant fell. Today’s viewers of the 2016 South African documentary The Giant is Falling will be aware of this. Jacob Zuma resigned as South Africa’s President in February 2018 after unrelenting pressure from various citizen and political movements. However, with the benefit of hindsight/foresight, ‘The Giant is Falling’ plays like a cautionary tale warning that the giant only fell. It wasn’t slain.
With The Poets, you do not necessarily have to be a fan of African literature or intimately know the lines of the poets to hitch a ride on the freewheeling sequence of bliss and wisdom that is this film. By teaching us to appreciate the friendship that the pair have cultivated, the film helps us to understand and respect their sacred roles as poets. We are then able to listen to their wisdom and keep questioning life.
Captivated by the kung-fu masters in the movies, a young Gabonese sets off for China to learn the sacred art. Years later, in 1985, he becomes the Shaolin Temple’s very first Black master.
The 2017 documentary, This Land, directed by Miki Redelinghuys narrows in on the people of Makhasaneni in KwaZulu-Natal and their struggle to overcome governmental neglect, a corrupt traditional hierarchy and the threat of corporate interests. During apartheid, the family and forbearers of the indigenes we spend time with were forced off their land at the expense... Continue Reading →
Glitter, feathers and bright-coloured wigs. On a small Cape Verdean island, Tchinda helps her community prepare for Carnival. Directed by Marc Serena and Pablo García Perez de Lara, this 2016 feature length documentary is both a portrait of the eclectic Tchinda Andrade—one of the island’s first and most beloved transgender women— as well as a... Continue Reading →