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Africa Challenge; January 2016
Topic Started: Dec 31 2015, 12:42:13 AM (1,602 Views)
funkybusiness
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Goal: Watch as many African films as possible in the month of January

Rules:

- A feature film (Anything over 40 minutes) counts as one entry
- A total of 60 minutes of short films count as one entry
- For Mini-Series (40 minute episodes or longer) each episode counts as an entry.
- For Mini-Series with shorter episodes (25 minutes or so), the 90 minute rule applies.
- Rewatches allowed

Official lists:

https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/fespaco+-+etalon+de+yennenga/

https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/guide+to+african+cinema/

https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/diffs+the+100+greatest+arab+films/
(includes North Africa: Thanks to Mjf for this spreadsheet showing which films on the DIFF list are from which country: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AhCbA3xledPhdEZKUVJCWWU2RXZyd09kMUVpemxvVWc&gid=2&richtext=true
(Some of them are co-productions so you'll have to check which one is the main country. )

https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/unescos+memory+of+the+world+national+cinematic+heritage/
[Angola (1-15), Burkina Faso (86-100), Ivory Coast (160-173), Egypt (215-229),
Ethiopia (230-243)]

Unofficial lists:
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/official+checks+africa/knaldskalle/ [now updated to include African films on DIFF list! Thanks, Knaldskalle!]
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/mubis+top+african+films/timec/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/cfbs+greatest+films+of+sub-saharan+africa/timec/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/african+submissions+for+the+academy+award+for+best+foreign+language+film/adamh/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/africa+movie+academy+-+best+film/ataraxic/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/most+important+100+egyptian+films/peacefulanarchy/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/al+ahrams+15+best+egyptian+films+of+all+time/mjf314/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/directory+of+world+cinema+africa/peacefulanarchy/

https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/ousmane+sembene+filmography/nopros/

Additions welcome.

Thanks to 3eyes for the challenge info from last year.

African films from 500<400 I think I got 'em all listed.

#022. Camp de Thiaroye 1988
#123. Al-mummia 1969
#125. Ali Zaoua, prince de la rue 2000
#128. Hyènes 1992
#203. Samt el qusur 1994
#275. Doa al karawan 1959
#288. Heremakono 2002

Participants:
blocho 5
cinephage 2
connordenney 1
funkybusiness
kingink 10
Knaldskalle 19
Lilarcor 3
Nopros 1
ororama 3
PeacefulAnarchy 10
sushantv10 1
tarr 6
treadwaynathan 9
Edited by funkybusiness, Feb 1 2016, 11:40:31 PM.
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PeacefulAnarchy
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There's also that directory of world cinema list I added recently.

I'm in, my goal is to complete the two official lists, which is about 30 more films for me.
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3eyes
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I plead not guilty (or oblivion due to age) to whatever I'm being thanked for.

As for the challenge, maybe. I have 5 to go on FESPACO bronze but in my present state of extreme lassitude I just can't tell.
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Lilarcor
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In. I'll try to see a few from countries I haven't seen features from before.
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Knaldskalle
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In!

My goal is platinum on both African lists, a total of 15 movies.
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Nathan Treadway
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All queued up. In.
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blocho
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If I remember correctly, the African challenge last year was one of the least popular ones and the winner had the lowest total for any challenge. It was also one of my most lackluster challenges - I think I liked 10-20 percent of the movies I watched.

That being said, since no one else has yet listed a movie and since I've written elsewhere that I'm going to ease up on the monthly challenges, I plan to win this challenge with two movies. Here's the first.

1. Cabascabo
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Nopros
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I'm game.
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cinephage
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I'll try and watch a few...
01. Muna Moto, by Jean-Pierre Dikongue-Pipa (1975) 7/10

The beginning was confusing, and I was afraid the whole movie would be like that. But it started to make sense, and I enjoyed it.
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Lilarcor
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1. (Tunisia) As I Open My Eyes / À peine j'ouvre les yeux (Leyla Bouzid, 2015)

Decent "music film", the story is centered around a band and its 18 year old singer and features several full songs of different genres. Similar to Samt el qusur in subject matter (but set in todays Tunisia) but not quite as well put together. 6/10
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kingink
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I'm in as well.
I was trying to clean up my karagarga folders and I have several African movies in there.

1. Egypt - Al-irhab wal kabab (1993) Sherif Arafa 7/10

It's a very popular comedy in Egypt, so I was a bit afraid, but I enjoyed it! I liked the strong political and social message of the film.
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Nopros
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1. Zan Boko (1988) 6.5/10


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sushantv10
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01. Allah Tantou (1992)

02. Le franc (1994)
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Knaldskalle
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Sorry for my lateness, I've been sick for the past few days and taking care of the kids (who are back to school today). Coming off the TSPDT challenge of last month, this month, so far, has been pretty jarring.

1. Ramparts of Clay (Bertucelli, 1970). Eh. The pictures are pretty, the story, though simple, is nice, but it didn't gel for me.

2. Emitaï (Sembene, 1973). Again, another simple story, but Sembene has a filmmaking talent that makes it more interesting than it would be in lesser hands. The ending is really something...

3. Sambizanga (Maldoror, 1973). I dunno... This is a little too much on the propagandistic side for me to fully enjoy it. It's not overt "Workers of the world unite" stuff, but it's full of one-dimensional characters who are either good or bad, black or white (literally) and very little complexity or context.
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kingink
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2. Niger - Cabascabo (1969) Oumarou Ganda 5/10


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Knaldskalle
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4. Faces of Women (Ecare, 1985). It's a twofer! Two stories, barely connected, about women in Africa and how they're down even when they're up.

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connordenney
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1. Cabascabo (Oumarou Ganda, 1968)

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Knaldskalle
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5. Saaraba (Seck, 1988). Many African movies deal with the same themes. Someone coming back from Europe/US having become "estranged" to some degree, the conflict between modernity and tradition (often with children and parents representing the two sides) and a small handful of other themes. This one combines the two themes detailed above, with a returning man and a local woman falling in love, but she's been promised to someone else. This is a predictable story, but it manages to make the ending unexpected and different.

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allisoncm
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Will try to find time for a few this month.
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Knaldskalle
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6. Angano... Angano... (Paes & Paes, 1989). Fascinating folk tales and myths from Madagascar, but as a film it's nothing much. There is some interesting footage here and there, but I didn't find it engaging. The stories told are really good, though.

7. Sango Malo (Kobhio, 1990). This was really good, easily the best movie of the challenge so far. A freshly minted teacher is assigned to a tradition-stuck village and he immediately clashes with everyone in power. While the story as a whole is predictable, the specifics are definitely not.

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Lilarcor
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I liked the raw quality of Angano Angano. Could've been an Amos Vogel entry on the topic of death in my opinion.

Will look out for Sango Malo. I'm weak for movies about teachers (The Class and The Browning Version in particular are favorites).
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Knaldskalle
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8. Ta Dona (Drabo, 1991). Forestry, corruption, magic and bush fires all blend in this weird movie. This is one of those movies I may have to watch again to figure out if I like it or not.

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Nathan Treadway
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1.) Touki Bouki (Senegal)
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Knaldskalle
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9. Quartier Mozart (Bekolo, 1992). I don't think African comedies will ever be my thing.

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Knaldskalle
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10. Neria (Mawuru, 1993). Zimbabwe's highest grossing movie ever turns out to be nothing more than a morality play. Terrible picture and sound quality didn't help endear it to me. It's not bad, but I feel like I've seen my fair share of these by now.


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Nathan Treadway
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2.) Poussières de vie (1995) (Dust of Life) Algeria

Foreign Language Oscar nominee. Made by a Parisian born (although probably of African descent) director, filmed in Malaysia and about Vietnamese children after the Vietnam War. I'm hanging on by a thread counting this, but, since it was nominated out of Algeria, I can, right?

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funkybusiness
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treadwaynathan
Jan 10 2016, 07:40:17 AM
2.) Poussières de vie (1995) (Dust of Life) Algeria

Foreign Language Oscar nominee. Made by a Parisian born (although probably of African descent) director, filmed in Malaysia and about Vietnamese children after the Vietnam War. I'm hanging on by a thread counting this, but, since it was nominated out of Algeria, I can, right?
sure why not
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Knaldskalle
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11. In A Time of Violence, part 1 (50 min.) (Tilley, 1994). I'm having a hard time following it due to the accents and only occasional subtitles, but I hope it'll get better for the second and third parts.


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Lilarcor
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2. (Gabon) Money / Dôlè (Imunga Ivanga, 2000)

Ok coming-of-age film with a third act that is too sudden and cheap. Too often using close-ups in shot/reverse shot scenes which are rapidly cut which was disorienting without purpose. Odd tonal shifts at times that reminded me of being at a house party were nobody can agree on which song to play. 5/10

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Edited by Lilarcor, Jan 10 2016, 07:33:32 PM.
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cinephage
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02. Xala, by Sembene Ousmane (1975) 7,5/10

A political tale, both funny and cruel...

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Knaldskalle
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12. In A Time of Violence, part 2 (50 min.) (Tilley, 1994)
13. In A Time of Violence, part 3 (50 min.) (Tilley, 1994)

Everything makes a lot more sense now. A complicated plot involving ANC activists, Inkatha Freedom Party terrorists, the South African Police and a housing project. I still had issues at times (why weren't the lines in Afrikaans subtitled?) but I managed to mostly follow what was going on. Not bad, not bad at all.

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Nathan Treadway
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3.) Hors la loi (2010) = Outside the Law (Algeria)



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PeacefulAnarchy
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1. The Hunters (1962) 7/10
A film with so many great aspects, brought down by one very noticeable flaw, the narrator. Particularly given the time when it was made, this is excellent ethnographic footage edited with ample drama and humanity. It reminds me of La chasse au lion à l'arc, a film that was surely influenced by this one, with its use of a hunt to show various aspects of this tribe's life, its struggles and structure. Here in particular the rough terrain and distended bellies speak for themselves the hardships of the life these people face, especially in the context of a hunt for food. The narration is surprisingly informative too. Often in films like this the narration tends towards the minimal, but there's a good deal of information that helps contextualize what's on screen. It sucks, then, that the narrator, while technically competent, has a monotone delivery that makes it a struggle to sit through the film. Luckily the content makes up for a lot.


2. Cabascabo (1969) 6/10
This is a great idea for film, turned into a very good but flawed script, turned into a decent but very uneven movie. There are so many great elements in the film contrasting cultural and social expectations with reality and the tense relationship with colonialism. But to shine these things need strong characterizations to make them stand out and give them humanity, which the script struggles to do and the performances mostly don't even live up to that. No one besides the lead is given more depth than plot mover, and the lead himself is defined by a series of moments rather than as a multifaceted person who experiences those moments. The film's short length doesn't help, since many of the scenes feel barebones, preoccupied only with serving their purpose before the film moves on. Still, the bones of the film are strong enough to make this compelling and the short length, mitigates some of the flaws.
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Lilarcor
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3. (Niger) Cabascabo (Oumarou Ganda, 1969) 6/10

Fully agree with PeacefulAnarchy's thoughts. Ganda's short film Le wazzou polygame is still his most successful in my opinion. Ganda has an interesting eye which is used to the fullest in that short, here the film is let down by some "easy" mistakes in for example the script which clouds the film a bit, making it harder to appreciate what is mostly good. Several very good, memorable sequences are stringed together with some that are fairly amateurish.

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Nathan Treadway
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LOL you can tell that Cabascabo is the World Cup movie
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Knaldskalle
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14. Silences of the Palace (Tlatli, 1994). This was really good. We follow the life of a young girl a she grows up in the "Downstairs" part of a palace, following daily events and larger outside events (Tunisian independence) as experienced by the servants. It has a certain rueful quality to it that I really liked.

15. Everyone's Child (Dangarembga, 1996). The life of two kids orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. Only marginally engaging, in my opinion.


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Knaldskalle
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16. Keïta! Voice of the griot (Kouyate, 1996). This was really good. A tale of tradition vs. modernity. Can you know where you're going if you don't know where you come from?

This completes the Guide to African Cinema for me.

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Edited by Knaldskalle, Jan 14 2016, 10:05:44 PM.
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tarr
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1. Yeelen (Souleymane Cisse, 1987)
2. Xala (Ousmane Sembene, 1975)
3. Ceddo (Ousmane Sembene, 1977)
4. Hyenes (Djibril Diop Mambety, 1992)
5. Bab el hadid (Youssef Chahine, 1958)
6. Moi, un noir (Jean Rouch, 1958) Not sure about this one, it's directed by a french dude.
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Nathan Treadway
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Rêves de poussière (Dreams of Dust) Burkina Faso

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kingink
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3. Tunisia - Le collier perdu de la colombe (1991) Nacer Khemir 8/10
4. Tunisia - El-haimoune (1984) Nacer Khemir 8/10

Two wonderful films by Khemir! They are poetic, with a great dreamy pace and some very good performances. Two beautiful fairy-tales. I can't wait to see more of his work.

5. Egypt- Marcides (1993) Yousry Nasrallah 5/10

I read that this film is important for Egypt cinema but I was not drawn into it.

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Edited by kingink, Jan 17 2016, 09:01:23 PM.
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