Category: The Latest

African Cinemas: The Pioneering Years, 1955-1981, Early Decolonization. A “Milestones” Timeline…

The goal is to create a comprehensive and balanced timeline, a kind of living document I will eventually publish somewhere, so that it’s continuously updated as new *discoveries* are made and properly contextualized.


Continuing this “archaeological dig” into Med Hondo’s oeuvre as international restorations and retrospectives of his work (see thread below) address past distribution and accessibility challenges, acknowledging his contributions to global cinema… Hondo’s LES BICOTS-NÈGRES, VOS VOISINS (ARABS AND NIGGERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS, 1974) stands as a pivotal work within African cinemas, for its influence on the […]

THE EMPTY GRAVE (KABURI WAZI) Berlinale 2024 Review: A Stark Documentary Journey on the Legacy of Colonial Plunder in Tanzania

“The Empty Grave” is a documentary that speaks to the soul. It demands of its viewers an emotional and intellectual engagement with the material realities of colonial plunder. The film’s conclusion is a resounding refusal to offer closure, both to the families it portrays and to the viewers who bear witness to their plight. The film’s epilogue is not just an update; it is a sobering reminder that the struggle for reparative justice is far from over, and a clarion call that underscores the vast scale of the problem.

DEMBA Berlinale 2024 Review: A Slow Burn, Deep Impact Examination of Grief’s Unseen Depths in a Senegalese Story

Through DEMBA, filmmaker Mamadou Dia contributes to a vital dialogue on the significance of acknowledging and addressing mental health issues in a culturally sensitive manner, particularly in an African context, offering insights into the healing power of community while recognizing the solitude that often accompanies profound grief.

DAHOMEY Berlinale 2024 Review: In Mati Diop’s Multilayered Fantasy Documentary Statues Live On

DAHOMEY can also be seen as an imaginative extension and critique of the themes presented in STATUES ALSO DIE by Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, and Ghislain Cloquet. While the latter focuses on how African artifacts lose their cultural and spiritual significance when displayed in Western museums, stripped of their original contexts, DAHOMEY explores the potential for these artifacts to regain their “life” through the process of repatriation and recontextualization within their indigenous culture.