African-Theme Films Available at Colgate

African Religions: Zulu Zion (60 min) This takes a loot at the Zulu Independent churches in South Africa. When Christian missionaries took the Gospel to Africa they also tried to suppress African religion and subvert African culture with their own. But since World War I, and with increasing vigor in the last 20 years, Africans have been rediscovering their lost religious identities and have been forming independent churches with their own festivals, prophets and rituals and greater or lesser devotion to Christ.

African worldview and expression: Africa Afrocentricity and the signs & sounds of rhythm. C1998 African Worldview and Expression Lecture on Afrocentricity by Molefi Kete Asante, Chair, Department of African-American Studies, Temple University

African Worldview and Expression: mother of art, time & space, c1998 African Worldview and Expression Lecture on African worldview & expression by Rosalind Jefferies, Art Historian, The School of Visual Arts, Montclair State University

African worldview and expression: response to cataclysm: committing the film medium to the moral imperative of the African heritage c 1998. African Worldview and Expression. Lecture by Abiya Ford, Department of Radio, TV & Film, Howard University.

Afrique, je te plumerai. c1992 (88 min)  In French with English subtitles. This provides a masterly overview of one hundred years of cultural imperialism in Africa. Director Jean-Marie Teno uses Cameroon; the only African country colonized by three European powers, for a case study of the devastation of traditional African societies by imposed colonial cultures. This video is essential viewing for anyone who wants to understand the cultural and intellectual conflicts of present-day Africa.

*AIDS :a time of--the hunt for the virus. c1993 (60 min) This program takes viewers forward from the CDC's realization that this disease could be an epidemic to the discovery that the AIDS virus is rampant in Africa. It profiles a Scandinavian physician, one of whose patients died a mysterious death in the 1950s; a study of the patient's frozen tissues revealed that he died of AIDS, 20 years before the first AIDS patients were seen in the U.S. And it shows the genetic search under way at NIH and the Pasteur Institute to find the source of the virus.

Amistad.  c1998 (155 min) Based on a true story, the movie chronicles the incredible journey of a group of enslaved Africans who overtake their captor's ship and attempt to return to beloved homeland. When the ship, La Amistad, is seized, these captives are brought to the U.S. where they are charged with murder and await their fate in prison. An enthralling battle ensues that captures the attention of the entire nation, confronting the very foundation of the American justice system. But for the men and women on trial, it is simply a fight for the basic right of all mankind…freedom.

Anthony and Cleopatra (BBC) (171 min): The star of this production, Jane Lapotaire, not only looks similar to portraits of the historical Queen of Egypt, but has the range and maturity to capture her many facets.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu addresses apartheid.  1991 (15 min) Archbishop Desmond Tutu is one of the most recognized and most respected spokesmen in the non-violent struggle for liberation in South Africa. A humble man who refers to himself as a "simple preacher", Archbishop Tutu was in the forefront of the protest and world-wide diplomacy that compelled the government of South Africa to release Nelson Mandela. In this video we witness the emotional magnetism of this Nobel Peace Prizewinner as he addresses his anti-apartheid views during a recent honorary commencement.

Art of the Dogon  1988 (24 min) The Dogon people of Mali possess one of the richest art traditions in West Africa. Residing in an imposing landscape of steep cliffs and arid plains, The Dogon have for centuries created powerful sculptures to use in various rituals and in their daily life. One of the great admirers and collectors of Dogon art is Lester Wunderman. This half-hour film is based on his extensive collection at the Metropolitan Museum and his archival footage, which was shot on location in Mali. The Art of the Dogon attempts to capture the beauty and power of Dogon Art while placing it in context within Dogon beliefs and culture.

Arusi ya mariamu (Marriage of Mariamu)  (36 min)This video centers on the art and science of healing through traditional medicine and is set in contemporary Tanzania. Suffering from a serious illness, Mariamu and those close to her find themselves in conflict with their traditional values. Mariamu's health continues to deteriorate while under treatment at various hospitals. Her illness is complicated by a fear she has of traditional doctors stemming from early childhood. Her fears and the hospitals' failure to successfully treat her pose problems for her husband Sekondo. He realizes that there is no alternative but to take her to the healer. Through Mariamu's treatment we discover the causes of her illness and follow her physical transformation.

Battle of Algiers  1988 (125 min) French with English subtitles. Shot in a cinematic style that turns unreality into realism, the film puts you inside the events that take you from the first stirring Algerian freedom fighters in 1952 until the final moments when French might crushes them in 1957. Astoundingly, not one foot of newsreel is ever used.

Bible and the Gun  1984 (57 min) Africa: Part 5. The slave trade in Africa decimated the population and rent apart the fabric of society. After the slave traders came new kinds of interlopers: first, the explorers, among them Stanley and Livingstone; and then the missionaries. Next came those who envisioned an empire stretching from "Cape to Cairo."

Bill Moyers: "Summing up" 1988 (30 min) Series: World of ideas: Bill Moyers.  Summing up this series, "World of Ideas"

Black sugar: slavery from an African perspective  (26 min) His voice shaking with rage and bitterness, an old man sitting by the West African water's edge tells his grandson how fellow men and women were seized from their daily lives, uprooted from their native soil, herded like cattle into stinking ships, and deprived of their families, their homes, their very history-sold into slavery to make the New World fertile and prosperous for its owners.

Caravans of Gold  1984 (57 min): Series: Africa; Part 3. Basil Davidson traces the routes of the medieval gold trade, which reached from Africa to India and China in the east, and westward to the city-states of Italy. African rulers grew rich and powerful- the king of Ghana was described by an Arab travel in AD 951 as the wealthiest of all kings on earth. It was the coming of the Portuguese in 1498, which heralded the end of great African trade.

*Cesaire: Where the Edges of Conquest Meet  1995 (55 min):Part II moves to Paris in the 1930s where Cesaire and others developed the concept of "negritude," a worldwide revindication of African values.

Chinua Achebe: Nigerian Novelist  1988 (30 min) Series: World of Ideas: Bill Moyers. Achebe talks about the West's view of Africa. He addresses how the colonial regime did no teach democracy which in turn has led to many of the problems facing Africa today. He fears that the selfishness of so many people in Africa has led to a "blunting of the imagination and a sense of danger of truly psychiatric proportions." Achebe places great importance on storytellers and writers as the creators of history.

Chocolat  1990 (105 min) English subtitles.  A mesmerizing memoir of life in colonial Africa in the 1950s seen through the eyes of a French official's daughter. Stirring isolation and sexual frustration create an undercurrent of tension that threatens to explode as an assortment of Europeans pass through their sun baked outpost.

Clash of Cultures (60 min) Series: Africans: Part 8.   9 parts, 60 minutes each.  Explores the coexistence/conflict of the many African traditions and contemporary activities.

Cry of Freedom  1987 (157 min) The unforgettable friendship of two unforgettable men. The tension and terror of present-day South Africa is powerfully portrayed in the sweeping story of black activist Stephen Biko.

Dead Birds  (3 videos- 25-30 min ea.):Part 1: 28 min. Part 2: 30 min Part 3: 25 min.  This is a video about Dani, a primitive people who live in the Grand Valley of the Baliem in the mountains of Western New Guinea. It records actual events that occurred during the Harvard Expedition to Baliem in 1962.

The Deadline  1996. 52 minutesDuring the course of the transition to democracy, the major South African political parties agreed upon May 10th, 1996 as the deadline by which a new constitution for the country was to be written. Following the first democratic elections in April, 1994, the ANCled parliament, sitting as the Constitutional Assembly, set about the task of producing the blue-print for an apartheid-free society including a set of inalianeble rights to be contained in the new Constitution. The Deadline, commissioned by the Constitutional Assembly to document this final stage in South's Africa's transition, provides a unique behind-the-scenes look at one of the most dramatic negotiated constitutional processes this century has seen.

Desert: The war in North Africa c1981 (52 min) Series: World at War; part 8.  The war in North Africa takes the best part of three years and is fought and re-fought over the same 600 miles of desert between Alexandria in Egypt and Benghazi in Cyrenaica (Libya) before Montgomery's "Desert Rats" defeats Rommel's Afrika Korps at El Alamein. The Germans are driven from North Africa and the way seems clear to the underbelly of Europe, Italy.

Different But Equal  1984, (57 min) Series: Africa; Part 1.  For over four centuries, Africa was ravished by the slave trade. This has permanently distorted our view of the continent and its people. Basil Davidson goes back to Africa's origins to show that, far from having no great art or technology, Africa gave rise to some of the world's greatest early civilizations.

Disappearing World: The Masai Women, The Masai of Kenya  60 min. The Masai herd animals in the East African Rift Valley of Kenya and Tanzania. They are proud of their cattle, but only the men have rights to the herds. Women are wholly dependent. With a Masai elder as a guide, this video explains what it means to be a woman in this male dominated society.

Dry White Season c1989 (107 min): Ben du Toit (Donald Sutherland) is a prominent white schoolteacher in South Africa. A contented family man, he is unquestioning in his way of life. When the son of Gordon Ngubene (Winston Nntshona), his black gardener, is killed in famous Soweto massacre, Ben is understandably disturbed. But since there's nothing to be done about it, he advises his old friend to let the matter drop. Unheeding, Gordon proceeds to investigate, and is soon arrested, tortured, and killed by the police. The police report Gordon's death as "suicide." However, all evidence points to murder, and Ben decides its time to do some investigating of his own. He finds a black cab driver (Zakes Mokae) willing to smuggle him in and out of the black villages. He hires a liberal lawyer (Marlon Brando) willing to take his findings to court. He allies himself with a radical reporter (Susan Sarandon) able to publicize the truth as it develops. Ben's political awakening is so complete that he is soon living for little else but justice. His transformation alienates him from his family, his friends, and the safety of South Africa's white status quo society. Director Euzhan Palcy's mission, to put the politics of apartheid into, meaningful, human terms, has resulted in this remarkable movie.

Drums of Dagbon (A Celebration of African-American Music Series)  60 min. This program is about the Dagbamba dummers in Northern Ghana. In Africa, music serves a crucial integrative function. Musicians perform a complex social role, often performing important political functions and in Dagbon these musicians are drummers. This film shows the courtly society of the Dagbamba where the great drum choirs have a central role in the social life of the people, and traces the roots of highlife, the joyous popular music of West Africa.

Egypt: the habit of civilization c1991 (57 min) Pharaonic Egypt, the longest lasting ancient civilizations, created the state institutions on which nations are still built-bureaucratic government, organized religion and international trade. Its pharaohs ruled from 3100 BC until Alexander's time. Its pyramids are lasting monuments to a state, which endured for over three millennia. Ancient traditions come together in the Moslem culture that is the Middle East Today.