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Francophone Films

Films are listed alphabetically by the first word of the film's title as it appears on the box. When possible, the entry for a given film also includes the English title. If you are unsure of the film's title, use the browser's "Find" function to search for what you do know about the film: the director's, or an actor's, name, a keyword from the English title, etc. If you cannot find what you are looking for, ask an LTC employee for assistance. You can search for more information about a particular film using a very helpful resource, the Internet Movie Database. (Clicking will open it in a new window). At the bottom is a list of the Francophone films that are kept in Briggs Library. Films are subtitled in English unless otherwise noted.To recommend a French African film that is not yet in the LTC collection, send an email to Viktor Berberi, LTC Director: berberiv@morris.umn.edu.

 

Title: Afrique, je te plumerai
Country: Cameroon
Director: Jean-Marie Teno
Year: 1992
Run Time: 88 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “A stinging rebuke of European colonialism..gives potent evidence that the independence won from the French was more ceremonial than substantial.”-San Francisco Chronicle
Summary: This is an overview of one hundred years of cultural imperialism in Africa. Teno uses the country Cameroon for a case study of the devastation of traditional African societies by imposed colonial cultures.
Format: VHS
Title: Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets
Country: Morocco
Director: Nabil Ayouch
Starring: Mounim Kbab, Mustapha Hansali and Hicham Moussoune
Year: 2000
Run Time: 99 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Audience Award Best Feature Film at Amiens International Film Festival, Buster's Grand Prix award at Buster International Children's Film Festival, and many more.
Summary: Ali, Kwita, Omar and Boubker are a group of street urchins living on the hard streets of Casablanca. Their everyday lives are filled with violence, begging and indifference. In order to survive, they create a bond of friendship and family between them. The bond is cut short when Ali is senselessly killed at the beginning of the film; his life taken by a single act of a rival gang. Ali's friends decide not to report his death to the police, but rather to bury him "like a prince." Ali Zaoua captures the power of dreams and presence of hope in the harshest of circumstances.
Format: DVD
Title: Bab'aziz
Country: Tunisia
Director: Nacer Khemir
Year: 2008
Run Time: 96 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Locarno Int'l Film Festival, Vancouver Int'l Film Festival, Sao Paulo Int'l Film Festival; "Like a poem filmed in radiant and incandescent colors... a wlecome return to the psychedelic and the purely visual" -San Francisco Bay Guardian
Summary: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul is the story of a blind dervish named Bab'Aziz and his spirited granddaughter, Ishtar. Together they wander the desert in search of a great reunion of dervishes that takes place just once every thirty years.
Format: DVD
Title: Borom Sarret
Country:
Senegal
Director: Ousmane Sembène
Year: 1966
Run Time: 20 minutes
Summary: This film uses a mixture of documentary techniques and fiction to tell the story of a young cart-driver in Dakar who is robbed by a succession of dishonest passengers, and ends up having his cart confiscated by the police, losing with it not only his means of livelihood but his sole claim to self-respect in an exploited and poverty-ridden community
Format: VHS

Title: Le Bouillon D'Awara
Country:
France
Director: César Paes
Year: 1995
Run Time: 71 minutes
Summary: Awara Soup introduces us to what must be one of the world's most multi-cultural communities, a global village in the backcountry of French Guyana, an overseas department of France perched on the edge of South America. Three hundred years of world history intersect in Mana, a town where 1500 people speak 13 different languages and live together in remarkable harmony. The film's title comes form a local specialty, a complex gumbo which symbolizes this polyglot society.
Format: VHS

Title: Ça twiste A Poponguine
Country:
Senegal
Director: Moussa Sene Absa
Starring:Coura Ba, Jean-François Balmer, Ousmane Bo, Abou Camara
Year: 1993
Run Time: 90 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “A sort of “African Side Story,” deliciously light with moments of real grace.”-Liberation (Paris)
Summary: The story takes place in a remote beachside village where the local teenagers are divided into rival cultural camps. This film celebrates young Africans’ ability to blend French and American culture into their own.
Format: VHS

Title: Camp de Thiaroye English: The Camp at Thiaroye
Country: Algeria/Senegal/Tunisia
Director: Ousmane Sembène
Starring: Sidiki Bakaba, Hamed Camara, Philippe Chamelat
Year: 1987
Run Time: 152 minutes
Summary: In this semi-autobiographical film, black soldiers help to defend France, but are detained in prison camp before being repatriated home.
Format: VHS

Title: Ceddo
Country:
Cameroon
Director: Jean-Marie Téno
Starring: Tabate Ndiaye, Moustapha Yade, Ismaila Diagne, Matoura Dia
Year: 1977
Run Time: 95 minutes
Summary: The Ceddo try to preserve their traditional African culture against the onslaught of Islam, Christianity, and the slave trade. When King Demba War sides with the Muslims, the Ceddo kidnap his daughter, Princess Dior Yacine, to protest their forcible conversion to Islam. After trying to rescue the princess, various heirs to the throne are killed, and the King dies from a snake-bite.
Format: VHS

Title: Chef!
Country:
Cameroon
Director: Jean-Marie Téno
Year: 1999
Run Time: 98 minutes
Summary: Teno interviews a number of Cameroonian human rights activists who denounce "a political culture of irresponsibility granting those in power complete impunity and no accountability." He investigates the case of Pius Njawe, editor of an opposition news weekly, who was imprisoned for ten months in the notorious Newbell prison simply for asking if President Paul Biya had become ill at a football match.
Format: VHS

Title: Clando
Country:
Senegal
Director: Ousmane Sembène
Starring: Avs Bodule Moukilo, Guillaume Nana, Raphael de Chedjou, and Joseph Momo
Year: 1996
Run Time: 95 minutes
Summary: Clando tells the story of a former computer programmer, Sobgui, whose life has collapsed after his arrest and torture for minor involvement with an anti-government student group. Reduced to drivinig a clando, or qypsy cab, he eagerly accepts the opportunity to go to Germany to buy some cabs and to search for Rigoberto, the long-lost prodigal son of the taxi fleet owner. There he has an affair with a young German human rights activist who convinces him that, "if you don't change societ, society will change you." He also sees how emigration has reduced Rigoberto to a penniless drukard by denying him any meaningful social role. Together they return to Cameroon with no clear strategy except that they will wait no longer to take back their country.
Format: VHS

Title: Dakan (Destiny)
Country: Guinea
Director: Mohamed Camara
Year: 1987
Run Time: 87 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “Vibrant with a beautiful uninhibited attitude…A look at a world yet to arrive, an ignored part of Africa, that only asks to be filmed so that it can breathe.” – Liberation (Paris)
Summary: Dakan will inevitably be remembered as the first feature film on male homosexuality from sub-Saharan Africa. While “coming out” may have become prime time fare in the U.S., this film was met with angry protests when it was shot in the director’s native Guinea, and has generated heated debate among Africanists here as well. Beyond its controversial topic, Dakan is a contemporary African version of the age-old Romeo and Juliet conflict between love and social conventions.
Format: DVD
Title: Daughter of Keltoum (Bent Keltoum)
Country: France
Director: Mehdi Charef
Starring: Cylia Malki, Baya Belal and Jean-Roger Milo
Year: 2002
Run Time: 106 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Winner Kodak Award at Mons International Festival of Love Films
Summary: A 19 year-old Swiss woman travels to her birthplace - an isolated, barren Berber settlement in the mountainous desert landscape of Algeria - to find her biological mother, who she has never met. The perilous journey immerses her in a world virtually untouched by contemporary society, one that still clings to tribal mores and strict religious codes of conduct.
Format: DVD
Title:Days of Glory French:Indigènes
Country:France
Director:Rachid Bouchareb
Year:2006
Run Time:120 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Nominated for a 2007 Oscar in Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, Nominated for a 2007 Critics Choice Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Summary:During WWII, four North African men enlist in the French army to liberate that country from Nazi oppression, and to fight French discrimination.
Format: DVD
Title: Divine Carcasse
Country: Belgium/Benin
Director: Dominque Loreau
Year: 1998
Run Time: 57 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “A delightful and whimsical look at use and reuse, at natural and spiritual transformation, what might be called ‘recycling West Africa style,’ in the ethnographic spirit of Jean Rouch.” – Edna Bay, Emory University
Summary: Divine Carcasse traces the transformation of an automobile, a quintessential disposable commodity of Western technology, into a revered fetish object for a village of Fon people of coastal Benin. A 1955 Peugeot arrives in Cotonou, the property of a French philosophy teacher. When it breaks down repeatedly, he gives it to his cook who hopes to use it to become a prosperous taxi driver. At this point, the car enters a mixed world of traditional beliefs and western entrepreneurship which is urban Africa today. The cook comes to believe that the car is cursed because of an affront to one of his ancestors. Even a “ghost dance” ceremony fails to change his luck and he is forced to see it for scrap.
Format: VHS

Title: Le Collier Perdu de la Colombe (The Dove's Lost Necklace)
Country: Tunisia
Director: Nacer Khemir
Starring: Navin Chowdhry, Walid Arakji, Ninar Esber, Noureddine Kasbaoui, Jamil Joudi
Year: 1991
Run Time: 90 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Winner Jury Prize Locarno Int'l Film Festival, Official Selection San Francisco Film Festival, Winner Best Screenplay Namur Film Festival
Summary: A visually ravishing folktale reminiscent of The Thousand and One Nights. While studying Arabic calligraphy from a grand master, Hassan comes across a fragment of rare manuscript. He sets off in search of the missing pieces, believing that once he finds them, they will reveal all the secrets of love.
Format: DVD

Title: Emitai
Country:
Senegal
Director: Ousmane Sembène
Starring: Pierre Blanchard, Robert Fontaine, Michel Remaudeau
Year: 1971
Run Time: 101 minutes
Summary: As World War II is going on in Europe, a conflict arises between the French and the Diola-speaking tribe of Africa, prompting the village women to organize their men to sit beneath a tree to pray.
Format: VHS

Title: Femmes Aux Yeux Ouverts
Country: Togo
Director: Anne-Laure Folly
Year: 1994
Run Time: 52 minutes
Acclaim/Award: none
Summary: This is a film about African women. We meet a woman active in the movement against female genital mutilation. She explains why in Africa it is easier to oppose this practice as a health issue rather than a women’s rights issue.
Format: VHS

Title: Finzan
Country: Mali
Director: Cheick Oumar Sissoko
Starring:Oumar Namory Keita, Koti, Diarrah Siongo
Year: 1990
Run Time: 107 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “Sissoko shows a sure hand..Finzan evokes furious sympathy for the plight of African women.”-Variety
Summary: The story of two women’s rebellion. Their desire to control their own lives threatens the traditions of male supremacy in the village.
Format: VHS

Title: La Genese English: Genesis
Country:
Mali
Director: Cheick Oumar Sissoko
Starring: Sotigui Kouyaté, Salif Keita, Balla Moussa Keita, Fatoumata Diawara, and Maimouna Hélène Diarra
Year: 1999
Run Time: 102 minutes
Summary: Inspired by the Holy Book of Genesis, this film tells the power struggle between two families: a clan of herders led by Jacob and another clan of hunters fronted by his brother Esau. Caught in the crossfire is their cousin, Hamor and his tribe of farmers.
Format: VHS

Title: Le Gone du Chaâba
Country: France
Director: Christophe Ruggia
Year: 1997
Run Time: 105 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Grand Prix Festival de Cannes Junior 1997
Summary: To French authorities, Chaâba is a slum. Over 21 families have come here from Algeria to escape civil-war since the 1960's. The real story, though, is of the children who must fight for an education and stability in the new country. Omar is one of the lucky ones, though: he enjoys education and will find assimilation easy. But his friend Hacene is less secure, and begins to side with those who accuse Omar of being a disgrace to his identity, of selling out and becoming French. Then comes the news that Chaâba is to be torn down.
Format: DVD

Title: Guelwaar
Country: Senegal
Director: Ousmane Sembène
Starring: Omar Seck, Ndiawar Diop, Mame Ndoumbe Diop
Year: 1993
Run Time: 115 minutes
Acclaim/Award:
Summary: The film explores the heterogenous nature of identities formulated by multiple histories of internal and external colonizations. Using our analytical premise of being, becoming and belonging, the film presents a picture of Africa as a culturally diverse and hybrid place where processes of enunciating and performing subjectivity are characterized by contradictions.
Format: VHS

Title: Guimba the Tyrant
Country: Mali/Burkina Faso
Director: Cheick Oumar Sissoko
Starring: Falabo issa Traore, Bala Moussa Keita and Habib Dembele
Year: 1995
Run Time: 93 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Winner of the Grand Prize at FESPACO
Summary: Set in the mythical kingdom of ancient Mali, Guimba tells the story of a despot who uses his dark magical powers to rule the kingdom.
Format: VHS

Title:Halfaouine Boy of the Terraces Original Title:Asfour Stah
Country:France/Tunisia
Director:Férid Boughedir
Starring: Selim Boughedir, Mustapha Adouani and Rabia Ben Abdallah
Year: 1990
Run Time: 98 Minutes
Acclaim/Award: Won the 1990 Tanit d'Or, nominated for the 1991 Céasar in Best First Work, won the 1990 Goldan Palm, won the 1991 Audience Award.
Summary: A coming-of-age comedy/drama set in Tunisia. Twelve-year-old Noura is an impressionable boy who must learn to reconcile two conflicting worlds - the loving world of Moslem women and the vastly different, harsher world of men - while also dealing with his own budding sexuality.
Format: DVD
Title: Honey & Ashes French: Miel et Cendres
Country: Switzerland/Tunisia
Director: Nadia Farès
Starring: Nozha Khouadra, Samia Mzali and Amel Hedhili
Year: 1996
Acclaim/Award: Winner of the Sky Prize, "A compelling examination of female desires" San Francisico International Film Festival
Summary: Honey & Ashes is about three women who live in a North African Islamic country. Each has a different life. Leila is a headstrong, intelligent student. Naima is a doctor with a young daughter, and Amina is a housewife also with a daughter.
Format: DVD

Title: Hyenas
Country: Senegal
Director: Djibril Diop Mambéty
Starring: Mansour Diouf and Ami Diakhate
Year: 1992
Run Time: 113 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Given three and a half stars from the New York Post and New York Daily News
Summary: A forgotten act of cruelty comes back thirty years later to haunt a respected man.
Format: VHS

Title: Incendies
Country: Canada/France/
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette
Year: 2010
Run Time: 130 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Academy Award Nominee 2010 Best Foreign Language Film
Summary: Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history and fulfill their dead mother's last wishes, only to make a shocking discovery.
Format: Blu-ray & DVD

Title: Jesus of Montreal French: Jésus de Montréal
Country: Canada
Director: Denys Arcano
Starring: Lothaire Bluteau, Catherine Wilkening, Johanne-Marie Tremblay, Robert Lepage, Gilles Pelletier and Rémy Girard
Year: 1990
RunTime: 2 hours and 1minute
Acclaim/Award: “Profoundly moving and savagely funny.”-Leonard Maltin
Summary: The story of an out of work actor who updates the staid verson of The Passion Play and reinterprets the famous play.
Format: VHS

Title: Karmen Gei
Director: Joseph Gaï Ramaka
Starring: Djeïnaba Diop Gaï, Magaye Niang
Year:2001
Run Time:86 minutes
Summary:A loose retelling of the opera "Carmen", filmed in Senegal.
Format: DVD
Title: Kirikou and the Sorceress
Director: Michel Ocelot
Starring: Doudou Gueye Thiaw, Maimouna N'Diaye, Awa Sène Sarr
Year:1998
Run Time:74 minutes
Summary:Kirikou and the Sorceress (French: Kirikou et la sorcière) is a 1998 Franco-Belgian traditional animation feature film written and directed by Michel Ocelot. Loosely based on a West African folk tale, it tells of how a newborn boy saves his village by ridding them of the evil witch Karaba. It was so successful that it was followed by a midquel, Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages, released in 2005, and adapted into a stage musical, Kirikou et Karaba, first performed in 2007.
Format: DVD

Title: Krik? Krak! Tales of a Nightmare
Country: Haiti
Director: Jac Avila
Year: 1988
Run Time: 82 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Called "outstanding film of the year" by the London Film Festival.
Summary: A forgotten act of cruelty comes back thirty years later to haunt a respected man.
Format: VHS

Title: Madame Brouette
Country: Senegal
Director: Moussa Sene Absa
Year: 2002
Run Time: 104 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Montreal World Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, and London International Film Festival
Summary: Mati is a spunky street vendor and single mother known though out the village as Madame Brouette, a proud and independent woman who defies the male-centered traditions of her culture with hopes of leading a dignified life. Having escaped from a violent marriage, she dreams of riding about the world of abuse that surrounds her by opening a café. Fate steps in when she meets and falls in love with Naago, a smooth talking charmer who happens to be a crooked cop. When the neighborhood awakens to the sound of bullets and Naago is found dead, all fingers point to Mati. Part detective story, part fable, this rhythmic tale of passion, ambition and betrayal is a gem of new African cinema.
Format: DVD
Title: Making Of
Country:Tunisia
Director: Nouri Bouzid
Starring
: Lotfi Abdelli, Afef Ben Mahmoud and Fatima Ben Saïdane
Year: 2006
Run Time: 120 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Winner of Best Screenplay at the Tribeca Film Festival
Summary:The making of a martyr, the making of a man, and the making of a film. Bahta is 25, Tunisian, a hothead who excels at break-dancing. When he thinks a woman he likes may be seeing another man, his injured pride mixes with his Arab anger at Western insults to Islam, so he gets in trouble with the cops. For sanctuary, two men take him to the home of an older man, a teacher who is a tombstone calligrapher. The teacher slowly brings Bahta to understand the promise of martyrdom, playing on his desire for manhood. Occasionally, the actor playing Bahta breaks out of his role to complain to the director, who must coax him back. Is Bahta on his way to manhood, suicide, martyrdom, and murder?
Format: DVD

Title: Mandabi
Country: Senegal
Director: Ousmane Sembène
Starring: Makhouradia Gueye, Ynousse N'Diaye, Isseu Niang
Year: 1968
Run Time: 90 minutes
Summary:A money order from a relative in Paris throws the life of a Senegalese family man out of order. He deals with corruption, greed, problematic family members, the locals and the changing from his traditional way of living to a more modern one.
Format: VHS

Title: Monday’s Girls
Country: Nigeria
Director: Ngozi Onwurah
Year: 1993
Run Time: 50 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “A film that grips and moves…A shot in the arm for ethnographic television.”-Time In (London)
Summary: This is an up-to-the-minute look at tradition in today’s changing Africa. It examines the women’s initiation ceremony of the Niger River delta through two young women.
Format: VHS

Title: Mon oncle Antoine English: My Uncle Antoine
Country: Canada
Director: Claude Jutra
Starring: Jacques Gagnon and Jean Duceppe
Year: 1971
Run Time: 104 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Canadian Academy Award Winner of Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay
Summary: This is the story of a 15-year-old boy in a small, economically depressed mining town filmed in the backwoods of Quebec using many of the local inhabitants.
Format: VHS

Title: La Noire de…
Country: Senegal
Director: Ousmane Sembène
Starring: Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Anne-Marie Jelinik, Robert Fontaine
Year: 1965
Run Time: 60 minutes
Summary: A Senegalese woman is eager to find a better life abroad. She takes a job as a governess for a French family, but finds her duties reduced to those of a maid after the family moves from Dakar to the south of France.
Format: VHS

Title: La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil
Country: Senegal/Switzerland
Director: Djibril diop Mambety
Year: 1999
Run Time:45 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “The humanity Mambety shows is so piercingly, immediately moving in its angelic matter of factness, it’s holy and surreal.” – San Francisco Examiner
Summary: Mambety uses the simple tale of a crippled, yet resilient, little girl fighting for her economic independence against an unjust marketplace as a metaphor for Africa’s struggle to survive in an increasingly globalized economy. Sili Laam refuses to accept the role the world has assigned her; as a result, her self-reliant vision has the effect of transforming the reality around her. In the final shot, her tormentors literally disappear and the only sound we here are the determined footsteps into the future.
Format: VHS

Title: Pièces d'identités
Country: Belgium/Congo
Director: Mweze Ngangura
Starring: Jean-Louis Daulne,Gérard Essomba, Herbert Flack
Year: 1998
Run Time: 93 minutes
Acclaim/Award: "A dash of gentle Congolese/Belgian charisma, part comedy, drama, thriller and romance." --Los Angeles Times
Summary: A Zairian king arrives in Brussels in search of his long-lost daughter.
Format: VHS

Title: Quartier Mozart
Country: Cameroon
Director: Jean-Pierre Bekolo
Starring: Serge Amougou, Sandrine Ola'a, Jimmy Biyong
Year: 1992
Run Time: 80minutes
Acclaim/Award: "An exotic and erotic blend of magic and machismo that offers a sharp social satire." -Philadelphia Inquirer
Summary: The story of the not-very-sentimental education of a young schoolgirl known as Queen of the 'Hood. Maman Thekla, the local sorceress, helps her enter the body of a young man, My Guy, so she can discover for herself the real "sexual politics" or the quarter.
Format: VHS

Title: Rachida
Country: Algeria
Director: Yamina Bachir-Chouikh
Starring: Ibtissem Djouadi, Bahia Rachedi, Rachida Messaoui En
Year: 2002
Run Time: 100 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Cannes, Un Certain Regard; Best First Film Mexico City Int'l Contemporary Film Festival; "An urgent attack on wanton Islamic terrorism in Algeria"-Boston Phoenix
Summary: A look at terrorism in Algeria through the eyes of Rachida, a teacher in one of the school districts. She becomes the target of terrorists when she refuses to place a bomb in her classroom.
Format: DVD
Title: Raja
Country: France/Morocco
Director: Jacques Doillon
Starring: Ilham Abdelwahed, Hassan Khissal, Oum El Aid Ait Youss, Zineb Ochita
Year: 2003
Run Time: 112 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Winner Cannes Film Festival, Winner Venice Film Festival, Winner Marrakech Int' Film Festival, Winner Best Actress Marrakech Int'l Film Festival, Official Selection New York Film Festival, Official Selection Toronto Int'l Film Festival
Summary: A cross-cultural drama about a wealthy middle-aged Frenchman's yearning for a nineteen year old local girl. His attempt to seduce her, and their mutual attempt at manipulation, are fractured by their gross disparity of income, age and cultural sophistication.
Format: DVD
Title: The Road To Love
Country: France
Director: Remi Lange
Starring: Karim Tarek, Riyad Echahi, Mustapha Khaddar, Sihem Benamoune and Farid Tali
Year: 2002
Run Time: 70 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Freedom Award Winner Los Angeles Outfest, Jury Award Best Feature Film Seattle GLFF, Honorable Mention New York NewFest 2003. "The Road to Love...uncovers the complicated and often contradictory attitudes toward homosexuality in Islam." - New York Times
Summary: This romantic drama follows a young and apparently straight French-Algerian student, Karim, on a sociological quest to find gay Muslims. Through his investigations, the likable and handsome Karim meets a number of gay Arabs, from self-focused Youssef to sexually aggessive Mustapha. But it is handsome flight attendant Farid who leaves a lasting impression. While the friendship between Karim and Farid slowly intensifies, Karim is forced to confront the fact that his investigation will not only reveal the fascinating history and culture of gay Muslims, but also his own homosexuality.
Format: DVD

Title: Saaraba
Country: Senegal
Director: Amadou Saalum Seck
Year: 1988
Run Time: 86 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “Should be seen by anyone interested in new directions in world cinema. A distinctive independent voice.”-Director, Charles Burnett
Summary: Saaraba is a word for a mythical place free of the misery and contradictions of daily existence. Seck uses this as a metaphor for the dreams and disillusionment of Senegal and Africa in the decades since independence.
Format: VHS

Title: Sango Malo
Country: Cameroon/Burkina Faso
Director: Bassek ba Kobhio
Starring: Jean Abanda, Epaye Monny Akwa, Daniel Bakang
Year: 1991
Run Time: 94 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “A valuable look at the realities of village life…The director shines with a lively script and complex characters.”-Variety
Summary: The tale of two school teachers’ and two philosophies of education.
Format: VHS

Title: Satin Rouge
Country: France/Tunisia
Director: Raja Amari
Starring: Hiam Abbass, Hend El Fahem and Maher Kamoun
Year:2002
Run Time: 100 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Won the 2002 Public Prize for the Best African Film, won the 2002 New Director's Showcase Award, won the 2002 Holden Award for Best Script, won the 2002 Prize of the City of Torino Award.
Summary: After the death of her husband, Lilia's life revolves solely around her teenage daughter, Salma. Whilst looking for Salma late one night, Lilia stumbles upon a belly dance cabaret and though initially reserved and taken aback by the culture of the place, Lilia gets consistently drawn back to it. She befriends one of the belly dancers and is encouraged into dancing for the audience. Lilia also starts a romance with one of the cabaret's musicians, who unbeknown to both of them, is also romancing Salma.
Format: DVD

Title: Scent of a Green Papaya Vietnamese: Mui Du Du Xanh
Country: Vietnam
Director: Tran Anh Hung
Starring: Tran Nu Yen Khe, Truong Thi Loc, Nguyen Anh Hoa, Vuon Hoa Hoi and Lu Man San
Year: 1993
Run Time: 104 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Academy Award and Winner of the Cannes Film Festival
Summary: A love story set in Vietnam in the 1950’s and 1960’s, this is the story of a shy peasant girl who comes to Saigon at the age of ten as a household servant.
Format: VHS, in Vietnamese with English subtitles

Title: Le Silence de la Foret
Country: Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gabon
Director: n/a
Year: 2003
Run Time: 93minutes
Acclaim/Award: “"This beautifully made pic is a powerful African production, a fascinating excursion into a little-seen world. The film develops into an unusual journey of discovery. Impeccably made, with a high level of technical expertise." -Variety
Summary: In a fascinating twist on the old story of Westerners' encounters with "exotic" African cultures, La Silence de la Foret focuses instead on what happens when a European-educated African interacts with the mythic rainforest people incorrectly and pejoratively known as "pygmies"(they would more accurately be called the Biaka). It is about the difficulty for even the most well-intentioned person to know and respect the "other".
Format: VHS

Title: The Silences of the Palace
Country: Tunisia
Director: Moufida Tlatli
Starring: Amel Hedhili, Hend Sabri, Najia Ouerghi and Ghalia Lacroix
Year: 1996
Run Time: 127 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “Stunning.”-Boston Globe
Summary: The story is set in the shimmering reflection of royal life before the revolution. A young servant girl is misused by her masters and wooed by the rebel.
Format: VHS

Title: Sugar Cane Alley French: Rue Cases-Nègres
Country: France/Martinique
Director: Euzhan Palcy
Starring: Garry Cadenat, Darling Legitimus, Douta Seck and Joby Bernabe
Year: 1985
RunTime: 107 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Winner of Best Actress Venice Film Festival and the French Cesar Award for Best First Film
Summary: The story takes place on a sugar cane plantation where an 11-year-old orphan who wins a scholarship at a school in the city. His grandmother is willing to sacrifice everything for his chance at an education and an escape from the fields.
Format: VHS

Title: Ta Dona
Country: Mali
Director: Adama Drabo
Starring: Djeneba Diawara, Balla Moussa Keita, Diarrah Sanogo
Year: 1991
Run Time: 100 minutes
Summary: The story of the quest for secret knowledge by a young Bambara man. Here the hero is not a 13th century warrior but a modern agricultural expert in the Ministry of Rivers and Forests.
Format: VHS

Title: Taafe Fanga
Coutnry:
Mali
Director: Adama Drabo
Starring: Fanta Berete, Ramate Drabo, Ibrahim Koïta
Year: 1997
Run Time: 95 minutes
Summary: A tale of comic revolution in which women’s and men’s roles are reversed. The story is structured around the core Dogon belief that cosmogony, myth, history and the present interpenetrate or repeat themselves continually to bring primal forces back into proper balance.
Format: VHS

Title: Tableau Ferraille
Country: Senegal
Director: Moussa Sene Absa
Starring: Ismaël Lô, Ndèye Fatou Ndaw, and Thierno Ndiaye
Year: 1998
Run Time: 85 minutes
Summary: Tells the story of an idealistic young politician's rise and fall. Daam, a well-intentioned but vacillating European-trained politician must choose between two social paradigms exemplified by his two wives. The first, Gagnesiri, is the village beauty, who waits patiently for Daam. Unfortunately, they are unable to conceive a child, so Daam takes European-educated Kiné, who is eager to get ahead by marrying a politician. Daam becomes involved in a shady business deal with Président, a local businessman; when the details are made public, he is forced out in disgrace.
Format: VHS

Title: La Tête dans les Nuages
Country: Cameroon
Director: Jean-Marie Teno
Year: 1994
Run Time: 98 minutes
Summary: Teno investigates the ties between Cameroon's kleptocratic government and its unproductive economy in this movie. The government controlled formal sector, like its colonial predecessor, is essentially parasitical. We meet two college-educated young people, Irene and Jackie, who can only find paying jobs in the burgeoning informal sector which increasingly only supplies the daily subsistence needs of most people. Teno concludes that Cameroon's economy is like a man with his feet in trash and his head in the clouds with nothing but chaos in between.
Format: VHS
Title: Le Thé Au Harem D’Archimèdes English: Tea in the Harem
Director: Mehdi Charef
Starring: Rémi Martin and Kader Boukhanef
Year: 1985
Run Time: 107 minutes
Summary:
Madjid, a son of Algerian immigrants, and his friend Pat are condemned to spend their youth in the dreary concrete blocks of a Parisian suburb.
Format: DVD

Title: These Hands
Country:Tanzania
Director: Flora M'mbugu-Schelling
Year: 1992
Run Time: 45 minutes
Acclaim/Award: "An exceptional documentary...A hallucinatory voyage" -Liberation (Paris)
Summary: A day in the life of Mozambican women refugees working in a quarry outside Dar es Salaam.
Format: VHS

Title: Three Tales from Senegal
Country: Senegal
Director: Djibril Diop Mambéty/Mansour Sora Wade
Starring: Dieye Ma Dieye, Youssou N'Dour
Year: 1994,1992,1990
Run Time: 82 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “"A comedic, well-told and visually poetic story." -San Fransisco Bay Guardian
Summary: The three Senagalese shorts in this brief video anthology adapt the ancient African art of storytelling to a modern medium and a modern setting. The first one Le Franc, tells about our hero Marigo, an African Charlie Chaplin, whose dreams of being a musician help him survivie in a world of bureaucratic red-tape, urban decay and economic chaos. Picc Mi (Little Bird) is a touching fable revealing the exploitation of children in Africa's teeming cities. Fary l'Anesse (Fary, the Donkey) is about a man who finally finds his "perfect" woman, but finds out she is a donkey.
Format: VHS

Title: Touki Bouki
Country: Senegal
Director: Djibril Diop Mambéty
Starring: Christoph Colomb, Ousseynou Diop, Aminata Fall
Year: 1973
Run Time: 85 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “Tears up the screen with fantasies of African modernity never before seen in film or literature.”-NYU
Summary: The story of two young lovers who long to escape to Paris.
Format: VHS

Title: Udju Azul Di Yonta
Country: Guinea-Bissau
Director: Flora Gomes
Starring: Jorge Quintino Biague, Marcelo Cabral, Jacquelina Camara
Year: 1991
Run Time: 990 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “A richly shaded vision of post-colonial African society.”-New York Times
Summary: The story of three people so in love with their dreams that they miss the real opportunities life offers.
Format: VHS

Title: La Vie Est belle
Country: Zaire
Director: Mweze Ngangura and Benoît Lamy
Starring: Papa Wemba, Bibi Krubwa, Kanko Kasongo
Year: 1987
Run Time: 85 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “ A genial musical comedy offering a good look at Zaire.”-New York Times
Summary: The story of a poor rural musician who realizes that to succeed in today’s music world he must go to the city and break into radio and television.
Format: VHS

Title: La Vie sur terre
Country: Mali/Mauritania
Director: Abderrrahmane Sissako
Starring: Nana Baby, Bourama Coulibaly, Keita Bina Gaousso
Year: 1998
Run Time: 61 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “Luminous, poetic, reflective and pointed.”-Village Voice
Summary: A fictional documentary of daily life in the village of Sokolo that reminds us that much of the world’s population still travels on foot, by bicycle or donkey cart.
Format: VHS

Title: Viva Laldjérie
Country: Algiers
Director: Nadir Moknèche
Starring: Lubna Azabal, Biyouna, Nadia Kaci
Year: 2006
Run Time: 113 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Official Selection, Thesaloniki Film Festival; "By turns farcical, personality-rich, and profoundly observant" -Village Voice
Summary: This moie portrays three women living in today's Algeria between modern society and Islamic fundamentalism, self-determination and dependence.
Format: DVD
Title: Wanderers of the Desert
Country: France
Director: Nacer Khemir
Starring: Nacer Khemir, Soufiane Makni and Noureddine Kasbaoui
Year: 1986
Run Time: 95 minutes
Acclaim/Award: Golden Montgolfiere award won by Nacer Khemir at the Nantes Three Continents Festival. Golden Palm Award won by Nacer Khemir at the Valencia Festival of Mediterranean Cinema.
Summary: A teacher is assigned to a remote desert village that is obsessed with a mysterious buried treasure and whose children are cursed to wander the desert.
Format: DVD

Title: Wend Kuuni
Country: Burkina Faso
Director: Gaston Kaboré
Starring: Serge Yanogo, Rosine Yanogo, Joseph Nikiema
Year: 1982
Run Time: 70 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “ A gentle fable recalling a time of peace and plenty.”-New York Times
Summary: A mute, memoryless child is found under a tree by a peddler. He is adopted by the peddler’s village who in gratitude rename him “God’s gift. We learn how bigotry and cruelty drove him to discover compassion of his adopted village.
Format: VHS

Title: Woubi Cheri
Country: Ivory Coast
Director: Philip Brooks and Laurent Bocahut
Year: 1998
Run Time: 62 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “Woubi Cheri is one of those rare documentaries which explores souls and lives.”-Libération
Summary: This film gives African homosexuals a chance to describe their world in their own words.
Format: VHS

Title: Xala
Country: Senegal
Director: Ousmane Sembène
Starring: Fatim Diagne, Makhouredia Gueye, Thierno Leye
Year: 1974
Run Time: 123 minutes
Summary:It is the dawn of Senegal's independence from France, but as the citizens celebrate in the streets we soon become aware that only the faces have changed. White money still controls the government. One official, Aboucader Beye, known by the title "El Hadji," takes advantage of some of that money to marry his third wife, to the sorrow and chagrin of his first two wives and the resentment of his nationalist daughter. But he discovers on his wedding night that he has been struck with a "xala," a curse of impotence.
Format: VHS

Title: Yeelen
Country: Mali/Burkina Faso
Director: Souleymane Cissé
Starring: Balla Moussa Keita, Issaka Kane and Soumba Traoure
Year: 1987
Run Time: 105 minutes
Acclaim/Award: “Conceivably the greatest African film ever made….not to be missed.”-Chicago Reader
Summary: This is the adaption of an ancient oral legend from Mali. Set in the powerful Mali Empire of the 13th century, a young warrior must confront an evil sorcerer who is also his father.
Format: DVD

Francophone Films Located in the Library
Title: Black and White in Color
Country: Ivory Coast/France/West Germany/Switzerland
Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Year: 1976
Starring: Jean Carmet, Jacques Dufilho, Catherine Rouvel
Summary: French colonists in Africa, several months behind in the news, find themselves at war with their German neighbors. Deciding that they must do their proper duty and fight the Germans, they promptly conscript the local native population. Issuing them boots and rifles, the French attempt to make "proper" soldiers out of the Africans. A young, idealistic French geographer seems to be the only rational person in the town, and he takes over control of the "war" after several bungles on the part of the others.
Run time: 90 min.
Format: VHS
Library Call Number: PN1997.B56
Title: Chocolat
Country: Cameroon/France/West Germany
Directed by: Claire Denis
Year: 1988
Starring: Isaach De Bankolé, Giulia Boschi, François Cluzet
Summary: A young French woman returns to the vast silence of West Africa to contemplate her childhood days in a colonial outpost in Cameroon. Her strongest memories are of the family's houseboy, Protée - a man of great nobility, intelligence and beauty - and the intricate nature of relationships in a racist society.
Run time: 105 min.
Format: VHS
Library Call Number: PN1997.C47 1990