Drawing on Africa to tell intriguing stories

August 21, 2014

– Arts writer

The Pan-African AfriDocs documentary series is showcasing human interest stories that reflect the lives of everyday Africans and also airs films that document some of Africa’s most well knownpersonalities.

The movies are screened on ED (DStv channel 190) and GOtv (channel 65) every Tuesday night.

Every week, real-life stories reflect a continent full of hope and success, as well as the oft-portrayed despair and violence.

On August 26, Cosima Spender’s 62-minute Dolce Vita Africana features celebrated Malian photographer Malick Sidibé, whose iconic images of his country from the late 1950s through to the ’70s captured the carefree spirit of his generation asserting its freedom after independence, until an Islamic coup ushered in years of military dictatorship.

The film-makers travelled to Malick Sidibé’s studio in Bamako in 2008 to witness him at work and meet many of the subjects of his earlier photographs, whose personal stories also tell the history of Mali

Idrissa Guiro’s Barcelona or Die offers a snapshot of Senegal on September 2. The 52-minute 2008 French production hones in on Thiaroye, which isn’t a peaceful fisherman’s village any more. Viewers get to see that it’s from there that people first organised illegal boat departures from Senegal. Most fishermen want to leave. It seems there aren’t enough fish left to feed the families.

On September 16 Thierry Michel’s 2013 piece Moïse Katumbi hones in on issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This 58-minute work is in French and Swahili, with English subtitles. It examines wealthy Congolese businessman Moïse Katumbi, who is not only governor of the mineral-rich province of Katanga, but also president of the area’s famous soccer team TP Mazembe.

The film questions whether Moïse, a rival of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila, will one day be elected the country’s leader.

Roger Ross Williams’s God Loves Uganda explores the role of the American evangelical movement in Uganda, where American missionaries have been credited with creating schools and hospitals and promoting dangerous religious bigotry.

The 90-minute 2013 documentary will be screened on September 23.

AfriDocs is being flighted across sub-Saharan Africa. The stream is seen in 49 countries by satellite, and terrestrially to an additional 100 cities in 8 countries.

It is an initiative of the multi-awarded South African documentary production and distribution company Steps, in partnership with the Bertha Foundation.

Viewers can follow AfriDocs on Twitter: @Afri_Docs, see www or join at www.facebook .com/AfriDocs for the full programme schedule and synopses of the films.

 | Source: IOL