Table of Contents


A: Background Articles


B. Films


Afrique, je te plumerai


Angano... Angano...


Aristotle’s Plot


Ça Twiste a Poponquine






Femme Aux Yeux Ouvertes


Le Grand Blanc de Lambarene


Guimba le tyrant         




Quartier Mozart          


Sango Malo


Three Tales From Senegal:

   Fary L’Anesse (Fary, the Donkey)

   Le Franc

   Picc Mi (Little Bird)  


Touki Bouki                


La Vie Est Belle          


Zan Boko


C. Distributor Information                                                                              


D. Appendices                                                                                                 

Africa On-Line                                                                                      

Other Lists                                                                                                       

Web Sites On Africa and Related Topics                                      

Internet Resources for Africa and African Studies




Ciccone, A. (1995).  Teaching with authentic video: theory and practice.  In H. Eckman et al (eds.),     Second  Language Acquisition: Theory and Pedagogy.   Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.


Diawara, M. (1992).  Anglophone African production.  In M. Diawara, African Cinema: Politics and      Culture.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press.


Diawara, M. (1989).  Oral literature and African film:  narratology in Wend Kuuni.  In J. Pines and P.             Willemen (eds.), Questions of Third Cinema.  London: British Film Institute.


Gabriel, T. H. (1989).  Towards a critical theory of third world films.  In J. Pines & P. Willemen (eds.),            Questions of Third Cinema.  London: British Film Institute.


Harrow, K.  (1995).  Introduction: shooting forward.   In Research in African Literature (Special Issue on          African Film), 26 (3): 1-5.


Harrow, K. (1997).  Women in African Cinema.  Matutu: Journal for African Culture and Society, 19:   vii-xii.


Racevskis, M. (1996).   Applications of African cinema in the high school curriculum.  Research in       African Literatures, 27 (3): 98 -109.


Tomaselli, K. (1994).  Decolonising film and television (teaching film and TV in Africa).  In     MATHASEDI, Nov/Dec.


Ukadike, N. F. (1994).  Introduction.  In N. F. Ukadike (ed.),  Black African Cinema.   Berkeley:         University of California Press.





AFRIQUE, JE TE PLUMERAI (Africa, I will fleece you), 1992      

88 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Jean-Marie Teno          

Distributor:  California Newsreel                                                  

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



Past and present are intertwined in this film as they forge the ties of cause and effect between a violent colonial past and an unbearable autocratic present.  Thirty years have passed since Cameroon gained its independence.  As major political upheavals resound throughout the world, a generation of young Africans attempt to do the same, by ridding their country of  'one party' system plagued by corruption, nepotism and economic devastation.  This film is a personal statement about the means of delivering Africa from its present dilemma, and focuses on a tool of freedom and domination: the written word.



Afrique, je te plumerai provides a devastating overview of one hundred years of cultural genocide in Africa.  Director Jean‑Marie Teno uses Cameroon, the only African country colonized by three European powers, for a carefully researched case study of the continuing damage done to traditional African societies by alien neo‑colonial cultures.


Unlike most historical films, Afrique, je te plumerai moves from present to past, peeling away layer upon layer of cultural forgetting.  Teno explains: 'I wanted to trace cause and effect between an intolerable present and the colonial violence of yesterday... to understand how a country could fail to succeed as a state which was once composed of well‑structured traditional societies.'


Teno begins with present‑day cultural production in Cameroon, examining press censorship, government controlled publishing and the flood of European media and books.  He next looks at his own Eurocentric education during the 1960s.  'Study, my child,' he was told, 'so  you can become like a white man.'  Condescending newsreels from the 1930s reveal that France conceived its 'civilizing mission' as destroying traditional social structures and replacing them with a colonial regime of evolués (assimilated Cameroonians.)  Survivors of the independence struggle recall how the French eliminated any popular nationalist leaders, installing a corrupt, bureaucratic regime which continues to pillage the country.


Afrique, je te plumerai like Lumumba, and Allah Tantou, develops what could be called an 'anti‑documentary' style ‑ juxtaposing many conflicting types of images to decanter the eye (and the I.)  An authentic African reality, these films suggest, can only come from a rigorous deconstruction of Africa's past and present.

(from California Newsreel's information)



71 minutes French with English subtitles

Director:  Jean-Pierre Bekolo

Distributor:  JPB Productions

Purchase Price:  $295.00



This feature film examines the trials of African movie-making in a humorous, and critical, manner.



In a southern African town, a group of wanna-be gangstas hangs out at the Cinema Africa, subjecting themselves to megadoses of the latest actions fests.  They’ve taken the names of their screen gods:  Van Damme, Bruce Lee, Nikita, Saddam, and the leader Cinema. In walks an earnest cineaste, trying to enlist the government’s help in cleansing the Cinema Africa of Hollywood, replacing Schwarzenegger with Sembene.  The government is indifferent and the gangsta won’t come quietly, so he takes matters into his hands and becomes a vigilante for an indigenous film culture.


In its combination of critical questioning and anarchic glee, Aristotle’s Plot harks back to Godard, but with a sense of humor all its own.  Instead of working toward the end of cinema like Godard, Bekolo just wants a new beginning and a decent middle.”

(Critique quoted from article by Cameron Bailey, Toronto Film Festival Catalogue)



ANGANO... ANGANO...(Tales from Madagascar), 1989

64 minutes in Malagasy with English subtitles

Director:  Cesar Paes     

Distributor:  California Newsreel             

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



This documentary highlights the folktales of the Malagasy, featuring them as the storylellers against the backdrop of scenes of daily life on Madagascar.  



Angano...Angano... pioneers a new approach to ethnographic filmmaking, at once scrupulously non‑interpretative yet deeply evocative. The central character in Angano...Angano... is the oral tradition itself which passes down the wisdom of the ancestors, the "ear's inheritance," through myths and folktales. Venerable storytellers recount for the camera and their listeners the founding myths of Malagasy culture. The film makers do not dramatize these tales; rather they document story‑telling itself by placing it in its social and geographical context. The tales flow into and out of stunning shots of the daily Malagasy life which gave them life and which they in turn explain.

(from California Newsreel's information)


"Tales...Tales... says the opening interviewee, and our ears perk up. This film offers plenty of good stories...Absorbing and highly recommended."

‑‑ Video Librarian


"A splendid film...Images of fantasy and reality are evoked by the words of personable storytellers."

‑‑ Harold Scheub, University of Wisconsin


ÇA TWISTE A POPONQUINE (Rocking Popenguine), 1993


90 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Moussa Sene Absa       

Distributor:  California Newsreel 

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



A coming-of-age tale of Senegalese teens in the optimistic post-independence period of the 1960s.  This film deals with how the residuals of the colonialism and  imported Western culture influence the people of Poponguine’s outlook for a new Africa.



Ça Twiste á Poponguine is perhaps the most charming, fast‑paced and accessible film in our Library of African Cinema collection. This bittersweet, coming of age story is a kind of African equivalent of George Lucas' American Graffiti, Spike Lee's Crooklyn or Godard's Masculin/Feminin. These Senegalese teenagers living it up on the beach may also remind less discriminating viewers of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon in Beach Blanket Bingo!


Director Moussa Sene Absa's comedy is set during the weeks before Christmas, 1964, in a seaside village, where the local teenagers are divided into rival cultural camps. The "Ins" (or Inseparables) have adopted the names of French pop stars ‑ Johnny Halliday, Sylvie Vartan, "Clo Clo" and Eddie Mitchell. Their clique attends school, has a female auxiliary, exchanges fervent love poetry ‑ but they don't own a record player. The Kings, on the other hand, style themselves after

African American Rhythm and Blues legends ‑ Otis Redding, Ray Charles and James Brown. They work as fishermen, don't have any girls but they do have a record player.


The story of their rivalry is told through the memories of Bacc, a husky‑voiced, street‑smart little boy who acts as a messenger for the older kids. Abandoned by his father and mother, he's been adopted by the whole village. His grandmother, Madame Castiloor, the keeper of the local tales, predicts: "Someday you too will be a storyteller, who will make Africa famous throughout the world."


Her counterpart is M. Benoit, the gruff but well‑loved, French teacher, who continues to propagate French culture in the post‑colonial period. He makes his students memorize the fables of Jean de la Fontaine and paddles anyone who speaks anything but French in class.


Beneath its genial surface, Ça Twiste á Poponguine is about the importance and ultimate fragility of dreams and about each person's right to construct whatever dream they need. The film reveals how young Africans' have always created overlapping, identities, blending elements of American and French pop culture into their daily lives. Chubby Checkers' Let's Twist Again, sung in French, wafting over a Senegalese village just emerging from feudalism, offers a quintessentially post‑modern moment.


The film is at the same time a fond evocation of the 1960s, the decade when any dream seemed possible, especially for the young. The sound track is full of Soul favorites such as James Brown's "Sex Machine", Ray Charles' "What I Say" and Otis Redding's "Dock of the Bay." In retrospect, the gaudy (not to say ghastly) Carnaby Street fashions seem more like costumes than clothing, transforming everyday life into fantasy.


In contrast to the younger generation, M. Benoit seems imprisoned by his memories of France ‑ particularly a lost love, Marceline. As it gets closer to his Christmas vacation, he begins to drink heavily, becomes increasingly dissatisfied with his life in Popenguine but doesn't seem to want to return to France either. Concerned by his depression, the entire village, led by Madame Castiloor, sing a praise song to him in the hope that he will stay.


Meanwhile, the teenagers' schemes lead to disaster: a fight, the arson of the "Ins" clubhouse, a near drowning and the alienation of the girls. "We lost all our illusions that night," Bacc recalls. The village elders, led by El Hadj Gora, the Islamic fundamentalist shopkeeper and father of "Eddie Mitchell", decide to punish the rebellious adolescents. But M. Benoit intervenes, echoing the words of Pres. Leopold Senghor (and, one suspects, the filmmaker's own sentiments): "The children you beat are your future. Should they be humiliated because they dream of other horizons?...Civilizations die that reject the Other. Universal civilization is the fruit of give and take."


The "Ins," realizing their exclusivity has divided Popenguine, persuade a visiting French crooner to host a dance party for the whole village. In one of the small epiphanies the film celebrates, old and young dance together to the strains of a James Brown ballad. M. Benoit is introduced to a beautiful Senegalese woman and even Bacc, after his harrowing ordeals, gets a first kiss from his girlfriend. An epilogue tells us that in the years that followed, the "Ins" drifted apart: the girls married managers in the city, "Clo Clo" joined the army, Johnny disappeared and Bacc is living somewhere in Paris ‑ presumably, the filmmaker himself.

(from California Newsreel's information)


"An unusual and vibrant piece tackling serious material with an arrestingly light touch. It signals a

notable new talent in Moussa Sene Absa...A surprise, a delight and a genuine discovery."

‑‑ Variety


"The tender and funny chronicle of an African village in the Sixties. A sort of 'African Side Story', deliciously light with moments of real grace."

‑‑ Liberation


"A bitter‑sweet chronicle, that sails between tenderness and drollery, where tradition and modernity cohabit ‑ just like life."

‑‑ Teleloisirs


CLANDO, 1996

95 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Jean-Marie Teno          

Distributor:  California Newsreel 

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



The tale of a white collar worker, Sobgui,  who is imprisoned for supporting pro-democracy efforts in Cameroon,  while living in Germany.  After his return home and his release from prison, he is forced to earn a living operating an illegal cab in Douala.



Clando wrestles with a dilemma facing more and more educated Africans: whether to work to change the autocratic regimes at home or seek their fortunes abroad.


Clando is a call to action from one African to his fellow Africans ‑ a heart‑felt conversation we are privileged to overhear.  Teno writes: "A majority of Africans are waiting, waiting for change to happen, a passivity inherited from 400 years of oppression, where things can only go from bad to worse."


Clando begins in medias res; a chaotic, disorienting, urban present where people are so busy surviving they don't have the time to confront the underlying causes of their desperation. The central character, Sobgui, a former computer programmer, has, for reasons not yet clear, been reduced to driving a "clando" or gypsy cab through Douala's anarchic streets. He is clandestine, not just because his cab is unlicensed, but because he is hiding from his own past. When a radical political group involves him in the revenge slaying of an informer, Sobgui knows it is definitely time to get out of Douala. A wealthy elder from his village provides the chance when he asks Sobgui to go to Germany to buy more cars ‑ and to try to locate his long‑lost, prodigal son, Rigoberto.


In a series of flashbacks after he arrives in Germany, we discover that Sobgui allowed a group of pro‑democracy students to use his office to duplicate an anti‑government flyer. He had, however, been under surveillance and is immediately abducted by the political police and brutally tortured. Sobgui is dumped in a civil jail, which a fellow prisoner sardonically observes must be "heaven" ‑ since the nation beyond its wall is a prison and a hell. One day, without explanation, the political police whisk a terrified Sobgui away, drop him on a busy street corner and tell him not to move until they return. As the hours pass, he realizes that they aren't coming back but that he remains their prisoner ‑ only now his cell is all of Cameroon.


Director Jean‑Marie Teno, however, suggests alternatives to Sobgui's state of powerless isolation. The informal economy in which Sobgui works, "helping his brothers out in the sun to get home," provides basic services unavailable from the government‑controlled sector. Both in Douala and Cologne the members of Sobgui's clan have set up tontines, "credit unions," which support their members' entrepreneurial ventures. Even in the jail, captives and captors learn to share what they have.


In Cologne, Sobgui manages to track down his sponsor's son whose fate provides a cautionary tale for Sobgui as well. A once prosperous businessman, Rigoberto has been reduced to a penniless drunk. Sobgui tries to encourage him to return to Cameroon by telling him a parable about a hunter from a drought‑stricken village who goes into the forest to find food for his family. After two weeks he has still shot no game and is so ashamed he wanders off into the forest rather than return empty‑handed. But the villagers send out a search party and convince him to assume his hereditary role as chief.


Sobgui discovers another reason to return, ironically, through an affair he has with a young German human rights Irène. activist, She is impatient with the Cameroonian emigrant community's complacent waiting for change to happen at home. She tells Sobgui that if you wait to change society, society will change you first. Sobgui realizes that since his imprisonment he has felt immobilized by the "law of series:" you can know how a sequence of actions begins, but never how it will end. Sobgui has, for example, been haunted by a terrifying dream. He and some other prisoners are riding shackled in a police van driven by a psychopath. One of the prisoners has a gun but the dream always ends in indecision: should he shoot the driver, risking death in a crash, or do nothing and suffer a slow death in captivity? "That metaphoric gun," director Teno comments, "is in the hands of every African."


In a sense, Sobgui completes his dream when he tells Irène that he has decided to return to Cameroon. Irène's politics demand no less; it has nothing to do with their personal affection or her nationality. For the first time, he addresses her as "comrade," and she replies, "we have to wait till you've earned that name." Sobgui answers: "I'm tired of waiting."

(from California Newsreel's information)


"One hears the voice of Africa expressing itself in the first person and taking the risk of its subjectivity, without using the excuse of poverty or relying on folklorism. This is, above all, very courageous ."

‑‑Libération (Paris)


"The first feature film confronting the reality of the movement for democratization in francophone Africa has a rare quality among African films in that it entirely accomplishes its ambitions."

‑‑Le Monde


"Clando is a work of art on the level of artistry with Satyagit Ray's investigations of India...Acting doesn't get any better than this."

‑‑Philadelphia Forum


"Clando dramatizes how global forces can reach right into a man's psyche. Teno's first feature film confirms his position as one of African cinema's most exciting directors."

‑‑Cameron Bailey, Toronto International Film Festival        


105 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Claire Denis     

Distributors:  Facets Multimedia, Inc.      

                        Indiana University-African Studies Program

Select video stores

Purchase: $19.98, Rental: $2.00-$4.00



This film dramatizes the memoirs of a young French girl as she grows up in colonial Cameroon. 



No critique available. 



West Africa (May 29-June 4, 1989): 875-876

Washington News, Weekend (April 14, 1989): 33

Jump Cut 40: 67-73


FEMMES AUX YEUX OUVERTS (Women with Open Eyes), 1994

52 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Anne-Marie Folly         

Distributor:  California Newsreel 

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



This film profiles contemporary African women in four West African countries: Burkina Faso, Mali,

Senegal, and Benin.  We meet a woman active in the movement against female genital mutilation, a

health care worker educating women about sexually transmitted diseases, and business women who

describe how they have set up an association to share expertise and provide mutual assistance.



Femmes Aux Yeux Ouverts is visually quite stunning and makes economical use of its 52

minutes to cover many aspects of the roles of African women.  Although it begins with a poem by a

Burkinaabe women and in Burkina Faso, by the end of the film the viewer has also seen footage from

Mali, Senegal, and Benin.  It is organized thematically by titles flashed on the screen.  Most of the

women speak French, with English subtitles provided.  The subjects covered include female genital

mutilation (Burkina Faso), forced marriage and lack of property rights (Burkina Faso), AIDS, the

struggle against poverty (Senegal, Mali, Benin), and political participation for women (Benin,

Burkina Faso).  The narration is multi-vocal, often from activists involved in amelioration of various

aspects of women’s situations.  Although most of these activities come from the elite, a non-

condescending view of the situation of poor women is presented in many contexts; men are heard

from occasionally; and the point is made firmly by a market woman that by discriminating against

women “man is destroying himself.”  The tone varies from anger to dispassionate observation,

depending on the speaker.  Many of the women are eminently quotable, and there is significant

footage from the 1991 revolution in Burkina Faso, along with an interview with a participant whose

daughter was killed in the women’s demonstration that was a key event.  Also included is an

extended interview with Mali’s first female governor (of Bamako), who does some of the narration.

The film therefore has historical ramifications in several aspects, but ... it is an unintentional

historical document, not a historical documentary.

(Review by Claire Robertson. American Historical Review 101.4 (Oct 1996): 1142-1143.)

LE GRAND BLANC DE LAMBARÉNÉ (The Great White Man of Lambarene), 1995

93 minutes in French with English subtitles          

Director: Bassek ba Kobhio         

Distributor:  California Newsreel  

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



Told from the African perspective, this film narrates the story of Noble Peace Prize winner, Albert Schweitzer, during his tour as a doctor at the hospital he established in colonial Gabon.



Cameroonian filmmaker Bassek ba Kobhio provides a fascinating revisionist perspective on Albert Schweitzer, Noble Peace Prize winner and secular saint of the colonial era.


Like Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask and Rouch in Reverse, this film begins to rewrite the history of colonialism from the point of view of the colonized. Le Grand Blanc de Lambaréné is not, however, a facile exercise in iconoclasm but rather a deeply‑felt lament for a missed opportunity, for a cross‑cultural encounter between Africa and Europe which never happened.


Shot on the site of Schweitzer's hospital in Gabon, Bassek ba Kobhio elicits psychologically complex portrayals from his actors as he did in his earlier California Newsreel release, Sango Malo. Behind Schweitzer's impenetrable reserve, Ba Kobhio discovers a man blinded to the people around him by his own spiritual self‑absorption and arrogance. For Schweitzer to see himself as a stern but loving father, he had to cast Africans as childlike primitives whom he could protect from the temptations of modernity. He even refused to install electrical generators or institute modern sanitation in his hospital's wards. In the film, an African boy Schweitzer discouraged from becoming a doctor, returns with his degree and rebukes him: "The independence of the people has never been your concern. You only wanted to share their hell in the hope of reaching your heaven."


The film reveals that the ultimate tragedy of colonialism may have been its refusal to see and value the colonized as autonomous, creative human beings. Schweitzer knew numerous European languages but never learned to speak the local tongue; he was an accomplished organist and Bach scholar who never evinced any interest in African m usic. Ba Kobhio represents the richness of Africa through Bissa, a beautiful concubine the local chief gives le Grand  Blanc. Though clearly tempted, Schweitzer remains aloof; only at his death does he invite her to sleep in his bed rather than on a mat. The film's epigraph, ironically, is a famous remark by Schweitzer himself: "All we can do is allow others to discover us, as we

discover them."

(from California Newsreel's information)


"Gripping, vast, animated, with something profoundly magical...In Le Grand Blanc the cinema truly meets Africa."

‑‑Le Nouvel Observateur


"Audacious...The filmmaker presents the story of Schweitzer from an incisive, intellectually provocative point of view."

‑‑Le Monde

GUIMBA, LE TYRANT (Guimba, the Tyrant), 1995

93 minutes in Bambara and Peul with English subtitles       

Director: Cheick Oumar Sissoko 

Distributor:  California Newsreel

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



Through an epic drama set in the Malian ancient city of Djenné, a prince abuses his powers and loses the confidence of his subjects.  Guimba is an allegorical tale of present African society.



Winner of the most prestigious award in African cinema, the Grand Prize at FESPACO 95, Guimba has been acclaimed as one of the most visually ravishing African films ever made. This epic allegory contrasts Africa's tremendous wealth and potential with its present poverty and plunder. Director Cheick Oumar Sissoko comments, "Guimba is a political film, a fable about power, its atrocities and its absurdities. I was personally influenced by what I experienced not long ago in Mali, but the ravages of power are, unfortunately, universal." The story has obvious parallels with the 1991 overthrow of Malian dictator Moussa Traore in which Sissoko was active.


Guimba tells the timeless tale of a tyrant's hubris and his downfall at the hands of his people, reminiscent of MacBeth or Richard III. The film's narrative embodies the process of revealing the truth from behind the facade of despotic power. For Guimba, the prince of a once prosperous trading city, the key to power is spectacle: humiliating court rituals, arbitrary displays of wrath, occult powers, even the terrifying mask which always covers his face. Guimba's authority begins to crumble when he demands that a nobleman divorce his wife so that his own son, the physical and moral dwarf, Janginé, can marry her. This ludicrous demand reveals him to the townspeople as a unrestrained beast not a prince; they jeer and defy him and abandon the city to join a rebel force. Isolated, his magic powers exhausted, driven‑mad, Guimba is left with no alternative but to commit suicide.


Guimba is thus a story of the restoration of truth and legitimate authority to Djenné, the legendary city where the film was shot, and, allegorically, of democratic, "transparent" government to present‑day Africa. In its opulence and epic scale, Guimba recalls and calls for the return of the continent's own former greatness and prosperity. Even, the film's striking costumes (themselves simultaneously veilings and statements) occasioned the revival of several traditional Malian textile crafts.


Sissoko notes that in Guimba he adapted to film two traditional Malian types of discourse used to "speak truth to power:" kotéba, a popular form of satiric street theater, and baro, a virtuoso kind of public oratory. Thus Sissoko creates through his film not just an allegory of present‑day African politics but a community of viewers prepared to mock illicit power whatever its trappings.

(from California Newsreel's information)


"The highest quality ever seen in an African film...The atmosphere is pure magic...In a class by itself."



"Remarkable for its elegant simplicity...Deserves to be seen and savored by a large audience."

‑New York Post

KEITA, 1995

94 minutes in Jula and French with English subtitles          

Director: Dani Kouyate   

Distributor:  California Newsreel 

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



Keita creates a unique world where the West Africa of the 13th Century Sundjata Epic and the West Africa of today co-exist and interpenetrate.



Director Dani Kouyati frames his dramatization of the epic within a contemporary boy from Burkina Faso, learning the history of his family. During the film, Mabo and his distant ancestor, Sundjata, engage in parallel quests to understand their destinies, to "know the meaning of their names." In so doing, Keita makes the case for an "Afrocentric" education, where African tradition, not an imported Western curricula is the necessary starting point for African development.


Both ancient and modern storylines are initiated by the mysterious appearance of a hunter, a passerby representing destiny who intervenes at strategic moments to propel Sundjata and Mabo on their journeys. The hunter both foretells the birth of Sundjata to the Mandi court and, eight centuries later, rouses Djiliba (or Great Griot) Kouyati to go to the city and initiate young Mabo into the secrets of his origin. The Kouyatis have always served as the Keitas' griots, bards (jeli) belonging to a discrete Mandi caste or endogamous occupational group, who alone perform certain types of poetry and divination.


The griot's arrival creates tension in the Keita household especially between Mabo and his mother and his school-teacher, who stand for a Westernized lifestyle ignorant of African tradition. Mabo becomes so caught up in the griot's story that he stops studying for exams, day-dreams in class and eventually skips school to tell the story to other boys.


The film pointedly contrasts the moral depth of the griot's teachings with the sterile, culturally irrelevant facts which constitute Mabo's "Eurocentric" education. For example, the griot first comes upon Mabo while he is studying the Western "creation myth," Darwin's theory of evolution, of a universe ruled only by chance and the "survival of the fittest." In contrast, Mandi myth holds that human history is suffused with purpose and that every person has a particular destiny within it. By listening to The Sundjata Epic present-day Mandi listeners like Mabo can perceive the working out of destiny in history and see their own lives as part of a continuing narrative flow.


The Sundjata Epic, which Mabo hears recounts the life of Sundjata Keita (sometimes spelled Sundiata or Son-Jara Keyta,) the man responsible for turning his nation into the great Malian trading empire. Set in the early 13th century, the epic provides the wide-spread Mandi people a legend explaining their common origin and subsequent division into castes or clan families. An oral recitation of the complete poem with musical accompaniment can last close to sixty hours. But, this film, like most performances, recounts only a part of the epic, here the events surrounding the birth, boyhood and exile of Sundjata. (This corresponds to lines 356 to 1647 in the standard translation, Johnson, John William. The Epic of Son-Jara: A West African Tradition, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992.)


Sundjata's quest, like Mabo's, requires the successful reconciliation or integration of two types of power represented by his paternal and maternal lineages. His father, Maghan Kon Fatta Konati a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, has brought barika or law and progress to human society. In contrast, Sundjata's mother, Sogolon, and his grandmother, the Buffalo Woman of Do, rely on pre-Islamic occult powers or nyama. Their potentially disruptive effect on human civilization is symbolized by their habit of turning into ferocious animal "doubles."


Sundjata himself, hexed at birth by his mother's co-wife, must crawl across the earth, scorned as a "reptile." A Mandi proverb explains: "The great tree must first push its roots deep into the earth." When the climactic moment arrives for Sundjata to walk erect like a man, he tries to lift himself up with a seven-forged iron rod, symbolizing man-made technology. Even this cracks beneath his strength, so the hunter reappears and instructs Sogolon to fetch a supple branch of the sun tree which has the nyama to hold Sundjata's weight. Thus, the hero must harness natural and supernatural powers to fulfill his heroic destiny.


In the film's final scene, the griot disappears and for the first time Mabo directly confronts the hunter; after hearing the epic, he is finally in touch with his destiny. At this point, the stories of the two Keitas intersect; history and legend, event and destiny have been brought into alignment. Indeed, in making this film, Dani Kouyati (who shares the name of the griot) succeeds in fulfilling the "meaning of his name." He has used a quintessentially 20th century invention, motion pictures, to insure that The Sundjata Epic is passed on as an inspiring force in the lives of young Africans everywhere.

(Critique quoted from California Newsreel’s Online Catalogue.)



80 minutes in French with English subtitles          

Director: Jean-Pierre Bekolo       

Distributor:  California Newsreel

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



Quartier Mozart is the story of 48 hours in the life of a working class neighborhood in Yaounde. It recounts the not very sentimental education of a young schoolgirl, Queen of the 'Hood, whom a local sorceress helps enter a young man's body so she can see for herself the real "sexual politics" of the quarter.



Twenty-six year old Jean-Pierre Bekolo's startlingly original film, Quartier Mozart, will remind viewers of other breakthrough "youth" films like Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It or Jim Jarmusch's Stranger than Paradise. Trained in television and music video, Bekolo reveals a sensibility which effortlessly crosses MTV with African folklore and which has delighted festival audiences around the world. He has written: "I've tried to make a popular film where people can see themselves and be amused. African cinema won't have a future if it does not reach an African public." Quartier Mozart is the story of 48 hours in the life of a working class neighborhood in Yaounde. It recounts the not very sentimental education of a young schoolgirl, Queen of the 'Hood, whom a local sorceress helps enter a young man's body so she can see for herself the real "sexual politics" of the quarter. Quartier Mozart is an affectionate celebration of African youth and the vibrant cultural pastiche it is continually inventing.

(Quoted from California Newsreel’s Online Catalogue)




94 minutes in French with English subtitles          

Director: Bassek ba Kobhio         

Distributors:  California Newsreel

                        TheVideo Project

                        Kino International

                        Boston University

                        Facets Multimedia, Inc.

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



Sango Malo explores the contradictions in Western formal education in Africa versus indigenous informal education.  The film’s hero, Malo, initiates social change by introducing populist education that empowers the villagers.



Sango Malo offers American viewers an intimate and engaging portrait of the complex social dynamic underlying economic and political change in a typical African village. It argues passionately that a populist education must be a key component of any democratic, human‑centered development paradigm for Africa. Bassek ba Kobhio explains why his first feature focuses on education: "It is education which can form a new people...It is hard to think about changing African society without

envisioning an appropriate form of education."


Sango Malo contrasts two views of education. The traditional headmaster represents a rigid, "Eurocentric." curriculum designed to produce docile colonial administrators. Malo, the radical young teacher, emphasizes the practical skills needed to build a self‑reliant rural community. The film illustrates Brazilian educator Paolo Freire's celebrated distinction between an education which the ruling class uses to inculcate its values in students' minds and one which empowers students to shape

their own destiny.


Malo's innovative ideas soon spread to the rest of the village. With his help, the peasants establish a cooperative store and a cocoa marketing cooperative which undercut the power of the village chief, store owner and priest. When Malo alienates the villagers by demanding too rapid change, his enemies call in the army which arrests and imprisons him. 


But Malo has taught his lessons so well the villagers can carry on his reforms without him. In the last, open‑ended shot, the camera discretely pulls back as the peasants celebrate a future they themselves will make. The narrative thrust, the responsibility for development, no longer lies with the village elite, nor the progressive schoolmaster, nor even the socially‑engaged filmmaker, but has passed to the peasants themselves and to the African audiences viewing the film.

(from California Newsreel's information)


"Offers a valuable look at the harsh realities of village life in a little‑seen land. The director shines with a lively script and complex characters."

‑‑ Variety






(An anthology of short films on one video cassette)

82 minutes total, in Wolof with English subtitles   

Distributor:  California Newsreel

Purchase Price:  $195.00

Rental Price:  $95.00


The three Senegalese shorts (Le Franc, Picc Mi and Fary l’Anesse) in this brief film anthology adapt the ancient African storytelling tradition to a modern medium and setting. If the novel and its close relative, the feature film, reflect the complex, overlapping narratives of urban life, then these cinematic fables encapsulate the basic beliefs which support ordinary Africans as they try to navigate through a rapidly changing world.


LE FRANC, 1994           45 min

45 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Djibril Diop Mambety



Djibril Diop Mambety has already produced two feature-length masterpieces of African storytelling, Hyenas and Touki Bouki. Now in Le Franc, he begins a trilogy of short films, Tales of Little People, whom he describes as, "the only truly consistent, unaffected people in the world, for whom every morning brings the same question: how to preserve what is essential to themselves."



Mambety uses the French government's 50% devaluation of the West African Franc (CFA) in 1994 as the basis for a whimsical yet trenchant parable of life in today's Africa. For the millions of people impoverished by this devaluation, the national lotteries became the only hope for salvation. Mambety symbolizes the global economy as a game of chance, which the poor are compelled to play, though the odds are heavily stacked against them.


The hero of this tale (and perhaps Mambety's alter ego) is Marigo, a penniless musician living in a shanty town, relentlessly harassed by his formidable landlady. He survives only through dreams of playing his congoma (a kind of guitar) which has been confiscated in lieu of back rent.


At the end of his luck, he buys a lottery ticket from the dwarf Kus, the god of fortune, and glues it to the back of his door under a poster of his hero, Yaadikoone, a legendary Senegalese Robin Hood. When he wins, Marigo begins a harrowing odyssey across a Dakar of trash heaps, dilapidated buildings and chaotic traffic. Stumbling along under the unwieldy door, he seems to carry the burdens of an absurd world on his shoulders. Played with slapstick gusto by the gangly, rubber-legged Dieye Ma Dieye, Marigo is both comic and poignant, a Senegalese Charlie Chaplin.


Marigo is told the ticket has to be removed from the door so he carries it down to the shore so the waves can wash it off. He is, of course, swamped in the surf and loses the ticket, only to discover it pasted to his forehead. In the last shot, Marigo is seen exulting on a barren rock, as the breakers which opened the film continue to crash around him. We, the viewers, are left to decide if he is a symbol of hope or its ultimate futility.”

(Critique quoted from California Newsreel’s Online Catalogue.)





2) PICC MI (Little Bird), 1992    

20 minutes in Wolof with English subtitles

Director: Mansour Sora Wade



A tale of two young boys who befriend each other and experience a glimpse of freedom in the absence of adults.


After graduating from film school, director Mansour Sora Wade worked for the Senegalese Ministry of Culture charged with the preservation and revitalization of the country's oral tradition. In these two "fables on film," he displays a style characterized by economy and wit, each episode leading to the inevitable moral conclusion.


Picc Mi, (Little Bird), protests the increasing exploitation of children in the fast‑growing cities of the developing world. Mamadou (Modou) is a talibe, a boy given by his poor parents into the care of a marabout, or Moslem holy man. Each day the talibe are sent into the bazaars to beg for alms for the holy man. One day Modou meets another young boy, Ablaye, who scavenges the streets for junk to give to his father, a farmer driven into the city by drought. The two boys spend one day of freedom together scoffing at the venality of the adult world around them. A song by Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour about a young bird who a crocodile tries to lure from its nest with promises of food provides a commentary. In the final scene, Modou runs along the beach towards the sea and, at least in his imagination, is transformed into a bird, who can fly free of the adult crocodiles who would devour him.

(from California Newsreel's information)


FARY L’ANESSE (Fary, the Donkey), 1989

17 minutes in Wolof with English subtitles                                           

Director: Mansour Sora Wade



A cautionary folktale of a young man who can only appreciate surface beauty and unbeknownst to him marries an ass.



Fary, l'Anesse (Fary, the Donkey) gives an African twist to the timeless theme of men led astray by foolish desires. Ibra refuses to marry any woman with the slightest physical flaw. One day, Fary, a beautiful young woman, arrives mysteriously at his village. Ibra marries her but soon word spreads among the villagers that each day Fary transforms herself into a donkey. Things that seem too good to be true usually are. The moral: "The man who falls in love with beauty forgets that there are

other qualities in women. Since Fary, the donkey, have times changed?"

(from California Newsreel's information)



85 minutes in Wolof with English subtitles

Director: Djibril Diop Mambety   

Distributor:  California Newsreel

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95        



Often compared to a modern-day African Bonnie and Clyde, Touki Bouki explores the issues of cultural imperialism, through the story of Mory and Anta as they scheme and steal in order to get their boat fare from Dakar, Senegal to the promised land of France. 



Touki Bouki opens with a mesmerizing shot of a boy leading a herd of prized white cattle to

market. These symbols of Africa's promise and traditions are slaughtered in a sordid abattoir to

feed the insatiable appetite of Dakar's modern consumer society. As the boy returns to the

country, he passes Mory, the film's hero (or anti-hero) riding to the city and a similar fate on a

motorcycle with cattle horns mounted on its handlebars.


Mory and his girlfriend, Anta, are African cousins of the outlaw couples in Bonnie and Clyde and

Pierrot le Fou. Like these New Wave heroes, they are alienated from their society but can imagine

freedom only in the glittering images of the mass media. They lead us on an exhilarating,

picaresque adventure through a cross-section of Dakar society in a desperate search for the money

to escape to Paris. Just as their ship is about to sail, Mory, realizing perhaps that France is itself an

illusion, darts from the ship leaving Anta to her fate. He is left facing a sea glistening with

possibility but no way to cross it.


The theme Touki Bouki introduced in 1973, the search for authentic values in a  "modernizing"

Africa, has preoccupied many African directors. For example, could the deranged, mystical

motorcyclist in fellow Senegalese Amadou Seck's film Saaraba, which means utopia

in Wolof, represent Mory and Senegal, only twenty years older? Both Saaraba and Touki Bouki

argue that a better life for Africans must be built in Africa not France; that the only sea that needs

to be crossed is one's own imagination.

(Critique by Manthia Diawara, New York University and quoted from California Newsreel’s online




LA VIE EST BELLE (Life is Rosy), 1987


85 minutes in French, English subtitles

Director: Ngangura Mweze         

Distributors:  California Newsreel

                        Kino International

Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



La Ville Est Belle tells the story of a poor rural musician who realizes that to succeed in today’s commercial music world he must go to the city and break into radio and television.  In Kinshasa he uses his wit and talent to win a beautiful wife, trick his greedy boss, and succeed in singing his “theme song” on national television.



To many people in Africa and around the world, Zaire is synonymous with contemporary Africa music at its best.   Musical legends like Franco, Tabu Ley, Papa Wemba, Tahala Muana and Mbila Bel have successfully blended traditional forms with Western instruments and technology to create the most influential music in Africa.  Kinshasha, the sprawling capital of over 4 million people, can claim to be the capital of African music.  La Vie Est Belle, the first major feature form Zaire, capitalizes on the vibrant Congolese musical scene and one of its real superstars, Papa Wemba, Le Roi de la SAPE.  (SAPE stands for Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes, the Society of Good-timers and Fashionable Folk).  But the Congo is also known as a country with unparalleled experience of colonial brutality at the hands of Belgium and of neo-colonial suffering under one of Africa’s most ruthless autocrats, Mobutu Sese Soko.  Richly endowed with mineral, agricultural and other natural resources, the Congo has potentially one of the strongest economies in Africa.  Yet the majority of Congolese live in abject poverty.


This inheritance of oppression has given birth to a post-colonial urban culture rooted in survival.  Individual resourcefulness, wit and daring provide the only chance for self-advancement in the face of an all-powerful state and chaotic urban life.  Zairians have appropriated the French slang term. Systeme-D or debrouillez-vous (“fend/hustle for yourself.”) La Vie Est Belle is a joyous hymn to debrouillardise Congolese style.


The film borrows from traditional Congolese farce the figure of the charming trickster, the defenseless less ingenue, the neglected wife and the gullible husband to explore the cruelties and joys of life in Kinshasa.  Kuru (Pap Wemba) uses an elaborate series of deceptions to win a young woman, Kabibi, back from his boss Nvuandu, and to achieve his dream of  “playing electric” in his boss’ club.  Kabibi tricks her “husband” Nvuandu into helping her lover Kuru start his band.  Mamu, Nvuandu’s first wife, helps match up Kuru with her rival Kabibi to win back her husband.


Diviners play a key role in the film - though it’s never clear whether through supernatural agency or human gullibility.  With the odds against them, the Congolese have a passionate faith in the power of the occult to improve their chances.  The diviner’s remedy for Nvuandu’s impotence (that he must marry a virgin but not have sex with her for thirty days) is the linchpin for the whole comedy.  The diviner symbolizes the successful union of traditional village values with the new urban setting.  At the film’s triumphal climax, Kabibi, the diviner and the traditional dancers join Kuru and his modern band on stage in front of live television cameras.


La Vie Est Belle can be enjoyed as comedy but must be questioned as social commentary.  For example, the film perpetuates harmful stereotypes of African women.  Kabibi exists only as a pretty reproductive apparatus for Nvuandu and a fantasy object for Kuru.  The film ridicules Mamu’s women’s association or sorority, the Mazic, as a coven of loose liberated women.  Mamu, who seems to have the entrepreneurial skill to be independent, returns in the end to being Nvandu’s obedient wife.


We can also ask in what sense La Vie Est Belle is an African film.  At the insistence of the funders, the film was co-directed by a Belgian, Benoit Lamy.  But it was scripted and co-directed by a Congolese, Ngangura Mweze who had previously directed a highly acclaimed documentary on Kinshasa, Kin Kiesse.  Does this explain why the film’s plot seems patterned after a French farce or a 40s “screwball comedy”?


Does the film reproduce in African dress the same old “rags to riches” myth so long propagated by Hollywood films?  Does it try to persuade people they can make it through native talent and street smarts rather than fundamental changes in the social system?  Is this just escapism and wish fulfillment Zairian style?  But we can also ask if this makes La Vie Est Belle any less an African film?  After all, it was immensely popular with African audiences.  Perhaps La Vie Est Belle is - for better and worse - an example of an indigenous African commercial cinema.


(Critique quoted from an article by Mbye Cham, Professor of African Literature and Cinema at Howard University titled “La Vie Est Belle: “Getting Over” Zairian Style.”  California Newsreel’s Library of African Cinema.  1995-96 Catalog.)

ZAN BOKO, 1988

94 minutes in Morè with English subtitles 

Director: Gaston Kaborè 

Distributors:  California Newsreel

                        The Video Project

Northwestern University Library

Boston University


Purchase: $195, Rental: $95



A story of the conflicts and contradictions of traditional and modern Africa as experienced by a small African village that is annihilated by urban development.



Zan Boko explores the conflict between tradition and modernity, a central theme in many contemporary African films, such as Keïta and Ta Dona. It tells the poignant story of a village family swept up in the current tide of urbanization. In doing so, Zan Boko expertly reveals the transformation of an agrarian, subsistence society into an industrialized commodity economy.

Zan Boko is also one of the first African films to explore the impact of the mass media in changing an oral society into one where information is packaged and sold. The film provides viewers with a unique opportunity to see our own televised civilization through the eyes of the traditional societies it is replacing.


"Zan Boko says everything that needs to be said about an endangered way of life."

‑‑ New York Times


"The critical camera becomes an instrument of resistance in the face of the technocrats....Zan Boko tells the story of modern Africa."

‑‑ Cahier du Cinema








945 N. Pine

Lansing, MI 48906

Tel: 517-482-6669


California Newsreel

149 Ninth Street/420

San Francisco, CA 94103

Fax: 415/621-6522





113 Roman Road

London E2 OHU, UK

Tel: (44 181) 981 6828/Fax: (44 181) 983 4441


Facets Multimedia, Inc.

1517 West Fullerton Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614


Film Africa, LTD

PO Box 7151

Accra, Ghana

Telex: 2307 FMAFRI GH


Macmillan Films

34 MacQuestion Parkway South

Mount Vernon, NY 10550

Tel.: (914)664-5051

Mypheduh Films

P.O. Box 10035

 Washington, D.C. 20018-0035

Tel: 202-289-6677/ Fax: 202-289-4477

1-800-524-3895 (outside Metro D.C. area)


New Yorker Films

16 West 61st Street,

New York, NY 10023

Tel.: (212)-247-6110


Third World Newsreel

Camera News, Inc.

335 West 38th Street, 5th Floor

New York, NY 10018-2916

Tel: (212)-947-9277

Fax: 212-594-6417


Villon Films

77 W. 28 Avenue

Vancouver, BC  Canada

Tel./Fax:  (604)879-6042


Women Make Movies

462 Broadway, Suite 500D

New York, NY 10013  

Tel.:  (212)-925-0606 



















D. APPENDICES - Africa On-Line

A list of electronic discussion groups and web sites devoted to the study of African film and related

areas of interest.


I.  Electronic Discussion Groups





H-AFRICA is an international electronic discussion group sponsored by H-Net (Humanities-On-Line) to provide a forum for discussing African history.


Subscribers to H-AFRICA automatically receive messages in their computer mailboxes. These

messages can be saved, deleted, copied, printed out, or forwarded to someone else. It is, in some

ways, like a free, daily newsletter. H-AFRICA might also be compared to an ongoing, moderated

"roundtable" discussion with participants who happen to be all over the world.


H-AFRICA emphasizes both the study and teaching of the African past, including a variety of

disciplines and approaches to the history of the entire continent. We expect informed discussions of

teaching and research at all levels of interest and complexity.



Subscribers may submit questions, comments, reports and replies. H-AFRICA publishes research

reports and inquiries, syllabi and course materials, bibliographies, listings of new sources, library and archive information, and non-commercial announcements of books, software, CD-ROM’s, and other resources in the field. H-AFRICA also publishes announcements of conferences, fellowships, jobs, and commissioned reviews of books, films, and software.


Questions sent to H-AFRICA can range from the nitty-gritty ("I am planning a unit on 19th-century Islamic movements in West Africa; what source materials would be good for my students to read?") to the general and infinitely ponderable ("What teaching strategies have people found successful in encouraging students to take African medical practices seriously ?"). However, inquiries that are too general ("I would like some suggestions for readings on South Africa") or too specific ("Who was Isa M. Lawrence?") often do not advance the dialogue. The editors will work with subscribers to define such issues more clearly so that they will generate more productive professional and scholarly discussion concerning African history.


H-AFRICA IS A MODERATED LIST:  Like all H-Net lists, H-AFRICA is moderated by the editors to filter out inappropriate posts. All submissions must be approved by the editors, who will not send out to the general membership personal attacks (or "flames"), irrelevant material (such as subscription requests, which will be handled privately), commercial announcements, or items that do not further the professional and scholarly dialogue. H-AFRICA is also completely non-partisan and will not publish calls for political action.


The editors of H-AFRICA will not alter the meaning of messages, but will, if necessary, add name

and e-address, and/or modify the subject line of the post, so as to make evident connections to

earlier discussions. The editors will not inhibit the robust exchange of ideas on African history, but do expect that disagreements will focus clearly on issues raised and not on persons making the



In certain cases, the editors will be in touch with contributors either to clarify the content of their

posts or to ask that they frame them more emphatically within the parameters of H-AFRICA's focus.  The intention of such communication is not to censor, but rather to define the professional and scholarly character of H-AFRICA and to ensure that postings evoke the most comprehensive

responses possible from subscribers.


Subscriber complaints regarding the editing of posts to the list will be reviewed by the editorial board, whose members will advise the editors. The decisions of the editors will then be final.



To subscribe to H-AFRICA, send a message with no subject and only this text to :


SUBSCRIBE H-AFRICA Firstname Lastname Affiliation


You will receive a confirmation of your request and a questionnaire with further instructions that you will send back to the listserv. Your subscription should begin shortly after we receive your

completed questionnaire.


(2) H-AfrArts

H-AfrArts is an international electronic discussion group sponsored by H-Net (Humanities-On-Line)to provide a forum for the discussion and exploration of African expressive culture.


Subscribers to H-AfrArts automatically receive messages in their computer mailboxes. These

messages can be saved, deleted, copied, printed out, or forwarded to someone else. It is, in some

ways, like a free, daily newsletter. H- AfrArts might also be compared to an ongoing, moderated

"roundtable" discussion with participants who happen to be all over the world.


H-AfrArts emphasizes both the study and teaching of African expressive culture, both past and present, and invites contributions from individuals engaged in the humanistic study of the entire continent. We expect informed discussions of teaching and research at all levels of interest and complexity.


H-AfrArts also has an editorial board broadly representative of the state of the discipline. For a listing of current members of the editorial board, send a message to: LISTSERV@H-NET.MSU.EDU, with no subject and this text: GET H-AfrArts EDBOARD



Subscribers may submit questions, comments, reports and replies. H-AfrArts publishes research

reports and inquiries (including dissertation and thesis abstracts), syllabi and course materials,

bibliographies, listings of new sources, library and archive information, and non-commercial

announcements of books, software, CD-ROM’s, and other resources in the field. H-AfrArts also publishes announcements of conferences, fellowships, jobs, and commissioned reviews of books, films, and software.


Questions sent to H-AfrArts can range from the nitty-gritty ("I am planning a unit on contemporary

art in Ethiopia; what source materials would be good for my students to read?") to the general and

infinitely ponderable ("What approaches have people found successful in creating a curriculum for a survey of African art that deals with the entire continent?"). However, inquiries that are too general ("I would like some suggestions for readings on the art of West Africa") or too specific ("What is the size of the average Ife terracotta head?") often do not advance the dialogue. The editors will work with subscribers to define such issues more clearly so that they will generate more productive professional and scholarly discussion concerning African history.


H-AFRARTS Subscription Procedures

The easiest way to subscribe to the H-AfrArts discussion list is to use our on-line subscription form.  Alternatively, you may subscribe by sending the following message with no subject and only this text to    subscribe h-afrarts Firstname Lastname, Your affiliation


You will receive a confirmation of your request and a questionnaire with further instructions that you will send back to the listserv. Your subscription should begin shortly after we receive your

completed questionnaire.


(3) H-AfrLitCine

H-AfrLitCine is an international electronic discussion group sponsored by H-Net (Humanities online), H-AFRICA, and officially sponsored by the African Literature Association.  H-AfrLitCine emphasizes both the study and teaching of African literature and cinema.  African Literature Association.  H-AfrLitCine emphasizes both the study and teaching of African literature and cinema.  Completely non-commercial and non-partisan, H-AfrLitCine encourages a wide- ranging exchange of ideas and information on African literature and cinema.


If you wish to join H-AfrLitCine, please return the following information about yourself to:             


We will then add you to the members directory and subscribe you to the list.  Please be patient while your subscription is being processed as it must be done manually.  If you do not hear from

us within one week of returning this form, please contact us at the same address.


             *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *




Graduate students, please

indicate major professor:

Undergrads, please list

recommending H-AfrLitCine

faculty subscriber:







(4) H-AfrTeach

H-AfrTeach encourages a wide consideration of both the possibilities and problems involved in teaching about Africa in many educational settings. Our services are made possible by H-Net, Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine, and through the support of African Studies Centers at Michigan State University, Boston University, and the University of Pennsylvania.


Our moderated discussion list provides opportunities for teachers to share ideas and teaching materials as well as raise questions concerning their teaching about Africa. From time to time the editors also offer a variety of resources for regular subscribers. Selected discussion threads from the list are available from this site, as well as the complete message logs of H-AfrTeach.


H-AfrTeach generates many resources, such as lesson plans, unit outlines, and course syllabi, plus resource lists and complete bibliographies on topics (including individual countries) for teaching. We also feature an ongoing collection of perspectives on stereotypes often encountered in teaching about Africa. In addition, we have a wide variety of links to other internet resources which may be helpful to teachers.  Each link is reviewed by the editors, classified according to its potential usefulness, and accompanied by a brief review.


With the aid of the H-Net Review Project, H-AfrTeach regularly commissions reviews by teachers, educators, and scholars of a wide variety of materials. In addition to texts, videos, and CD-ROM materials, H-AfrTeach Reviews include general, adolescent and children's literature. We encourage comments on these reviews from authors and users of the materials on our discussion list.


H-AfrTeach Subscription Procedures

Send the following message with no subject and only this text to

subscribe h-afrteach Firstname Lastname, Your affiliation


You will receive a confirmation of your request and a questionnaire with further instructions that you will send back to the listserv.  Your subscription should begin shortly after we receive your completed questionnaire.


(5) H-SAfrica

H-SAfrica, an international electronic discussion group dedicated to the promotion of all aspects of South African history. It is sponsored by the H-Net Humanities Online, centered at the Michigan State University in America, by the East London campus of Rhodes University in South Africa, and by the South African Historical Association.


H-SAfrica can be compared to a cross between an academic journal and a friendly academic newspaper which is delivered to your electronic mailbox on an almost daily basis.  You will be provided with all sorts of useful information, like international job adverts, book reviews, conference announcements and calls for papers. You will be notified at times of new computer software, websites, films and videos.


At the same time we hope that you will join with us in mature discussions of on-going research, of articles and academic papers, books and journals, methods of teaching and debates on historiography. At the same time, H-SAfrica invites you to submit bibliographies and syllabi, guides to term papers and lists of any new sources or archives that you have come across.


In short, it is hoped that H-SAfrica will be a useful voice in the cultivation of all aspects of South

African historical research. 




H-SAfrica works on the Listserv program which is generated from the Michigan State University in America. All messages are transmitted from the editors and are then relayed to our subscribers all over the world.   If you as a subscriber wish to participate in any of the debates, you may do so merely by pressing the reply key on your computer, when reading a message from H-SAfrica. Your contribution will then be dispatched via Listserv to the editor-on-duty who will forward it to all the other  subscribers.


Your contribution can be the provision of useful knowledge or posting a question which seeks information. We would, however, encourage you to provide at least some information before posing your query.   We do not, for instance, encourage such questions as "Can anyone tell me what books I should read to learn about the Mlanjeni War?" It would be far better to explain what books you have already read, describe what your current conclusions are, and then pose your question. In that way the readers may learn something in addition to helping you with your research.


H-SAfrica  Subscription Procedures

Send the following message with no subject and only this text to

subscribe h-safrica Firstname Lastname, Your affiliation


You will receive a confirmation of your request and a questionnaire with further instructions that you will send back to the listserv.  Your subscription should begin shortly after we receive your completed questionnaire.


b. Other Discussion Groups


(1) African-Cinema-Conference

This conference is for the discussion of AFRICAN CINEMA.  It is a moderated conference (so you'll not get unnecessary junk email), and will have about 100 members to start with.  Using a conference/listserver is more efficient to get the news out.  Items to be sent out to subscribers will include all sorts of information on African cinema, including press releases about new books and articles, films and videos and other resources available, or about news, events, information and opinions relating to African cinema.  The moderator is Steve Smith (


Members are encouraged to send in bits of information to be posted to all.  Members are also encouraged to ask questions to the group of information they need, and to introduce themselves to the group with a couple paragraphs about what they are doing that relates to African cinema.


To send a message to this conference, write to: african-cinema-conference@XC.Org


NOTE:  Messages you send will *not* be sent back to you.  They *will* go to all other subscribers to this conference.  If you ever want to remove yourself from this conference, you can send mail to "hub@XC.Org" with the following command in the body of your email message:  unsubscribe african-cinema-conference


II. Internet Resources for Africa and African Studies


a. Web Sites On African Film And Related Topics                       


(1)  PANAFRICAN FILM AND TELEVISION FESTIVAL OF OUAGADOUGOU (FESPACO) Site includes: Awards Winners; Fespaco'97; Publications; The African film library;  information on Burkina Faso.


(2) Extracts and biographical data on African literature writers


(3) Francophone African poets available in English translation


(4) Links to other sites, such as: H-African Literature & Cinema


(5) "In the World of African Literatures

This site was developed by the French Dept. at the University of Western Australia in Perth.  It includes a bibliography of Francophone African women writers (in French), unpublished interviews, an unpublished novel, and a novel for young readers.



(6) "A-Z of African Studies on the Internet".


(7) Index on Africa. 

The Norwegian Council for Africa is proud to present the most comprehensive guide to Africa on the Internet yet.  Index on Africa is a catalogue of Africa resources on the Net. It contains more than 2000 Africa related links. The links are sorted in categories by theme or country.


(9) California Newsreel.

Major U.S. distributor of African video & film.


b. Africa Links at MSU


(1) African Studies Center.

Includes weekly Tuesday Bulletin newsletter of African studies resources, African Media Program, Study Abroad Programs, and African Studies Outreach Resources.  Outreach Coordinator, John Metzler, and Director, David Wiley, phone: 517-353-1700; email:,; address: 100 International Center, MSU, East Lansing, MI 48824-1035.


(2) National Consortium for Study in Africa.

A list of all Africa study abroad programs in U.S. - E‑mail: (or Wiley & Metzler above)


(3) Office for International Students and Scholars

David Horner, Director, phone: 517‑353‑1720, email:; address: 103 International Center, MSU, East Lansing, MI 48824-1035.


(4) MSU Office of Study Abroad

Cindy Chalou, Assistant Director, phone: 517‑353‑8920,; address: 109 International Center, MSU, East Lansing, MI 48824-1035.



(5) AFRI database of Africana materials in 18 major U.S. university libraries

To access, type in website, then choose: MAGIC via TN3270; tab twice down to “command” line and type “dial magic”; then choose “4 - indexes to articles”; then choose AFRI.


c. Africa-Related Organizations


(1) African Studies Association                           


(2) Africa News On-Line


(3) Association of Concerned Africa Scholars


(4) Africa Policy Information Center/Washington Office on Africa                                 


(5) Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) (Dakar)


d. H-Net Africa Discussion List Websites


H-Africa -            http://www.h‑             (predominantly history)

H-SAfrica -          http://www.h‑      (predominantly SA history)

H‑AfrArts -         http://h‑       (all African arts)

H-AfrLitCine - http://www.h‑       (all Africa literature and cinema)

H-AfrTeach -       http://www.h‑    (college, university, & K-12 education)


e. Websites Indexing Africa Internet Resources and Weblinks


(1) H-Africa Internet Sources



(2) Africa on the Internet: Starting Points for Policy Information


(3) American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Sub‑Saharan Africa Program User's Guide to Electronic Networks in Africa                                                ‑guide/index.html


(4) Africa Weblinks and Resource List (U. Pennsylvania)                                               


(5) Africa South of the Sahara: Selected Internet Resources                                                                http://www‑


(6) Africa News Resources -


f. Study Abroad and International Student & Scholar Resources


(1) State Department Travel Warnings & Consular Information Sheets


(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Provides travel health information.


(3) Immigration and Naturalization Service at the Department of Justice



An association of international educators is a leading organization in the field of international                    education.

-Council of Advisers to Foreign Students and Scholars (CAFSS)                                     

Section on U.S. Students Abroad (SECUSSA)                                                                          


(Updated March 6, 1998)