LIGHTS ON AFRICA: A Film Series
TO BE PRESENTED AT THE SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM
Beginning on June 18 and continuing through September 11, Lights on Africa: A Program of African Film will be presented in the Peter B. Lewis Theater of the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Supplementing the exhibitions Africa: The Art of a Continent and In/sight: African Photographers, 1940 to the Present, the series focuses on contemporary African issues and their treatment in the medium of film. Lights on Africa: A Program of African Film is being organized by Manon Slome of the Guggenheim Museum in consultation with Mahen Bonetti of the African Film Festiva l Inc. and with the support of Manthia Diawara, Chairman of the Department of African Studies, New York University.
Soraya Mire (Somalia), Fire Eyes, 1993, 60 minutes in length
Films from throughout the continent will be shown, including selections from Eastern Africa, Portuguese Africa (seldom seen in the United States), and films from the Arab north.
Recurrent themes such as the status of women in African society, the clash between traditional values and urbanized modernity, and coming of age in terms of political or national consciousness appear in many of the films from a variety of perspectives.
The films in the series offer perspectives on the development of African cinema within the context of both colonialism and political independence.
They also suggest how African filmmakers have taken back the right to self-representation, seeking to present Africa in all its diversity and complexity.
The works in this series demonstrate how film has emerged as a culturally democratic and accessible medium with the ability to restore pride, to educate, to challenge, and to revive awareness of customs and traditions that were lost or suppressed during c olonial rule.
Ousmane Sembene (Senegal), Guelwaar, 1990, 115 minutes in length. A New Yorker Films Release, copyright 1992.
Lights on Africa: A Program of African Film draws on films made throughout the entire African continent. In addition to films from Western Africa, which are most commonly seen in the United States, there will be selections from Eastern Africa, suc h as
Ferid Boughedir (Tunisia), Halfaouine (Child of the Terraces), 1990, 98 minutes in length, An International Film Circuit Release.
Wanjiru Kinyanjui's The Battle of the Sacred Tree (Kenya, 1994); from Southern Africa, including
Thomas Mogotiane and Oliver Schmitz's Mapantsula (South Africa, 1988) and Godwin Mawuru's Neria (Zimbabwe, 1992) ; and from Africa north of the Sahara, including Chadi Abdel Salam's La Momie/Night of Counting the Years (Egypt, 1970) a
nd Ferid Bougedir's Child of the Terraces (Tunisia, 1990).
Milestones in the history of African cinema such as Ousmane SembŠne's Borom Sarret (Senegal, 1963) and Black Girl (1965), Djibril Diop Mambety's Touki Bouki (Senegal, 1973), and Muhammad Lukhdar-Hamima's Chronicle of the Year of Embers (Algeria, 1975) will also be shown.
The status of women in African society is investigated in Soraya Mire's Fire Eyes (Somalia, 1993)and Moufida Tlatli's The Silence of the Palace (Tunisia, 1994). The clash between traditional values and urbanized modernity is examined in Souleymane Cisse's Finy (Mali, 1982) and Adama Drabo's Ta Dona (Mali, 1991). Dani Kouyate's Keita (Burkina Fasso, 1994) explores themes of coming of age in t erms of political and national consciousness.
On Tuesday, June 18, a panel discussion, African Cinema and Post Colonialism, will be offered following an evening screening of Ousmane SembŠne's Guelwaar (Senegal, 1990).
Ngozi Onwurah (Nigeria), The Body Beautiful, 1991, 23 minutes in length, Distributed by Women Make Movies.
The discussion will focus on major themes involving cinema throughout the continent: the development of African film within the legacies of colonial rule; African cinema's relationship to African oral traditions; the economic and political factors that co ntrol the production and distribution of African film; and the range and categories of African cinema.
In addition, on Wednesday, July 17, following a special evening screening of Ngozi Onwurah's The Body Beautiful (Nigeria, 1991)and Soraya Mire's Fire Eyes (Somalia, 1993; parental discretion advised), there will be a discussion with Mire abo ut her films.
Films will be shown on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the newly renovated Peter B. Lewis Theater of The Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The admission for each screening is $6 for adults and $4 for members, students, and seniors.
IN/SIGHT: AFRICAN PHOTOGRAPHERS, 1940 TO THE PRESENT
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copyright Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York