African Diaspora International Film Festival

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The African Diaspora International Film Festival begins in Washington D.C. on August 21- August 23-, 2015.

The following are some of the films and documentaries to be featured. For more information visit DC ADIFF 2015

NJINGA QUEEN OF ANGOLA

In the 17th century, a warrior woman fights for the independence of Angola. After witnessing the murder of her son and watching her people being humiliated by Portuguese colonizers, Njinga will become a Queen and struggle for the liberation of her people embodying the motto: those who stay fight to win.

This epic drama is based on the real life story of Queen Anna Njinga (c. 1583 –1663), also known as Ana de Sousa Njinga Mbande, queen of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms of the Mbundu people in Angola.  Directed by Sergio Graciano, 2013, 109 min, Angola, Biography, Portuguese with English subtitles.

BILATENA

Abi, a dynamic and resourceful twelve year old boy, leaves with his mother Degua and his 26 years old university graduate unemployed brother Zelalem (Zele).  Abi, who is a hard working boy with two jobs, supports his poor mother and his older unemployed brother through their day to day lives.  But when their mother dies of Hepatitus B and Abi is also infected by the virus, Zele must face the big challenge of supporting his own life and keeping his younger brother alive by earning the 20,000 Ethiopian birr per month needed for his brother’s medication. (Directed by Knife Banbu, 2014, Ethiopia, Drama, 105 min, Amharic w/ English subtitles).

ADANGGAMAN

Set in the late 17th century, on the Western coast of Africa, “Adanggaman” is a provocative retelling of the African slave experience, based on facts. A rebellious young man, who refuses to marry his parents’ choice of a bride, flees his village one evening, only to return to find his father and girlfriend slain, his village destroyed and his mother captured by a tribe of Amazon warriors. His efforts to free his mother lead to the kingdom of Adanggaman, where captives are held before sale. Roger Gnoan M’Bala, 2000, 90mins, Ivorian, Burkinabé, French, Swiss and Italian historical drama film, Bambara, Baoulé and French with English subtitles

OBAMA MAMA

Stanley Ann Dunham was an anthropologist with a Ph.D, a lifelong traveler and the mother of the first Black president of the United States. Her intelligence, progressive politics, and activism made for a profound life—one whose inspiration continues to resonate through her son, President Barack Obama. The “largeness of her heart,” as her son describes it, is the centerpiece of this inspiring documentary. Directed by Vivian Norris, 2014, 83 min, United States/Poland/France, Documentary, English.

CHRISTMAS WEDDING BABY

Christmas Wedding Baby explores the distance between the perception of happiness and actual joy. Through these three women and their eccentric mother, we question the societal definitions of success and reevaluate the roles and responsibilities of today’s woman. We also examine the depth of passion and commitment of men who are often struggling and confused in this gender non-specific landscape. There are no villains in this film, just men and women who love each other, yet somehow fail terribly at communicating their emotions. Directed by Kiara Jones, 2014, USA, Drama, 112 min., English

RESHIPMENT

Reshipment demonstrates that despite the discrimination suffered by the Haitians since this period, the Creole language, voodoo and other musical and dance traditions remain in the cultural landscape of Cuba.  The film also recalls the Haitian generation who garnered years of stay in Cuba and were victims of a “reshipment” as if they were damaged goods–a forced repatriation to Haiti when they were no longer needed in the sugar cane fields or coffee plantations.

As the life of Haitians in Cuba has moved between dreams and setbacks, this film is not only a fitting reminder of an often forgotten chapter in Cuban history but a tribute to the unsung  Haitian heroes who wove an important passage between two Caribbean nations. Directed by Gloria Rolando, 2014, Cuba/Haiti, Documentary, 58 min, Spanish, English subtitles.

HEAR ME MOVE

Hear Me Move is South Africa’s first sbujwa dance movie. It tells the story of Muzi, a mild-mannered accounting student, who is also the son of a late famous township pantsula dancer. Muzi is at a crux in his life, as he simultaneously attempts to support his mother while trying to carry the mantle of his father’s legacy and finding out the truth about his life and tragic death. Balancing family, friendship, his own ambitions and a new love, Muzi embarks on a brave journey to becoming a man. But, in his path to self-recognition and acceptance, he finds himself embroiled in a bitter rivalry that will test him to his core. Hear Me Move is an energetic tour de force celebrating the power of sbujwa street dance and the complex journey of a young South African man coming into his own. Directed by Scottnes L. Smith, 2015. South Africa. Drama. 103 min. English.

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