By Magnus Taylor
All life is political and art doubly so. But I thought Our Afrikan Heritage readers might be especially interested in the 4 films below; all of which are being shown at the RAS's upcoming festival:Film Africa 2014. http://www.filmafrica.org.uk/
Not far from Timbuktu, recently occupied by militant jihadists, Kidane lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima, his daughter Toya, and the family shepherd, Issan. In the culturally rich city of Timbuktu, the people suffer - music, laughter, cigarettes and soccer have all been banned and unveiled women are chastised. The local imam calmly argues against their narrow, ultra-orthodox dogma, but he has little influence over the religious intruders. Back in the dunes, an unfortunate incident draws Kidane into the heart of the historic city and its new brutal regime. Timbuktu uses its interrelated characters to condemn intolerance and challenge the oppression of diversity brought about by fundamentalist extremism. With stunning cinematography, Timbuktu confirms Abderrahmane Sissako's status as one of the true humanists of contemporary cinema.
Watch Trailer ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CspcDYQ-SiY
A young Tutsi woman and a young Hutu man fall in love amidst chaos; a soldier struggles to foster a greater good while absent from her family; and a priest grapples with his faith in the face of unspeakable horror.
Watch Trailer ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAN6s5RpQ0w
Set in Mozambique in 1975 in the immediate aftermath of the country's war of independence, Virgin Margarida is a restrained and thought-provoking film that tells the story of a group of female sex workers who are captured by revolutionary soldiers and sent deep into the countryside to be 're-educated'. Although Maria João, the officer in charge of the programme, is driven by idealistic notions, she is perfectly willing to subject her prisoners to torture. In spite of their suffering, members of the captured group of women take it upon themselves to look out for Margarida, a 16 year-old girl who stands falsely accused of prostitution and transpires to be a virgin.
Watch Trailer .... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFIAFCcpJYU
Director Joanna Lipper elegantly explores past and present as she tells the remarkable story of Hafsat Abiola, daughter of Nigeria's President M.K.O. Abiola who won a historic vote in 1993 that promised to end years of military dictatorship. Shortly after the election, Abiola was imprisoned and his victory annulled. His daughter, on the verge of graduating from Harvard, decided to return home and join her parents' struggle. Through Hafsat's family's story, we see the evolution of the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria, and Hafsat herself continues to face the challenge of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving Nigeria's most marginalized population: women.