Table of Contents


A. Background Articles


B. Film Entries


Allah Tantou                                                                                        1


Aristotle’s Plot                                                                                     2


Battle of Algiers                                                                                   3


In Darkest Hollywood                                                                           4-7




Sambizanga                                                                                          21




Selbe                                                                                                    22


These Hands                                                                                               23


Touki Bouki                                                                                               24


Warrior Marks                                                                                           25


Wend Kuuni                                                                                               26


Women with Open Eyes                                                                


Yaaba                                                                                                         28


Yeelen                                                                                                       29-30



C. Film Distributors



D. Appendices - Africa Online


I.  Electronic Discussion Groups


II. Internet Resources for Africa and African Studies








1.  Ukadike,  N.  F. (1993).  Introduction.  In M. Diawara (ed.), Black African Cinema. New York:        Routledge.

2.  Harrow, K. (199?). Introduction:  Shooting Forward. Research In African Literatures: Special Issue on African Film.

3.  Harrow, K. (199?). Women and African Cinema.  Matatu: Journal for African Culture and Society.






62 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: David Achkar

Distributor: California Newsreel

Purchase Price: $195.00

Rental Price: $95.00



This film confronts the immense personal and political cost of human rights abuses common to some evolutionary governments in post-independent Africa.  Filmmaker David Achkar accomplishes this by following the life of his diplomat father, Marof Achkar, who became a political prisoner in Sekou Touré’s Guinea during the late 1960s.



“Allah Tantou is the first African film to confront the immense personal and political costs of the widespread human rights abuses on the continent.  It follows filmmaker David Achkar’s search for his father, his father’s search for himself inside a Guinean prison and Africa’s search for a new beginning amid the disillusionment of the post-independence era.  One of the most courageous and controversial films of recent years, Allah Tantou speaks in an unabashed personal voice not often heard in African cinema.


The life of Marof Achkar can be seen as emblematic of much recent African history.  In 1958, his countryman, Sekou Touré declared Guinea the first independent French African colony and became a hero of Pan-Africanism.  Marof Achkar, a leading figure in the Ballets Africans, served as U.N. ambassador for the new government.  In 1968, Achkar was suddenly recalled, charged with treason and vanished into the notorious Camp Boiro prison.  His family was exiled and, only after Touré’s death in 1984, did they learn of his execution in 1971.


In a cinematic tradition which has privileged the calm collective voice of the griot, Allah Tantou speaks with the fragmented, uncertain rhythms of the individual conscience.  Achkar juxtaposes diverse, sometimes contradictory texts -- documentary, newsreel, dramatizations, photos, journals -- to deny us a single, authoritative narrative space.”


(Critique quoted from California Newsreel’s Library of African Cinema.  1995-96 Catalog.)



This film is suited for college level instruction.  It considers the topics of African politics, post-colonialism, and African history.






71 minutes in 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. 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)



This film is suited for college level courses in African Studies, Film Studies and Post-colonial Studies.




123 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo

Distributor:  Macmillan Films

Purchase Price:  $59.95

Rental:  This film can be rented from some commercial video stores.



A story reconstruction in documentary style of Algerian resistance to the French between 1954 and 1957.



“This powerful film is a documentary-style reconstruction of the Algerian rebellion against the French between 1954 and 1957.  It focuses on the FLN guerrilla underground and the tactics used by the French to destroy it.  Flashbacks show the rebels’ terrorist campaign and the escalation of torture, murder and destruction on both sides.  A dramatic example of the tragedy of violent revolution.  It is useful in a larger study where alternatives to violent social change are presented.  Sympathetic to the FLN, the film makers portray them as underdogs fighting valiantly for social justice, because of this the film may produce support among viewers for terrorism.”


(Critique quoted from War and Peace Guide 1980, pp. 75-76.)



This film might be used in a college level course on the historical political situation in Africa and The Middle East.  It might also be used in a college level course on Recent African History or World History.




57 minutes in English

Director: Peter Davis and Daniel Riesenfeld

Distributor: Villon Films

Purchase Price: 2 x 56 minute videos, $390.00



In Darkest Hollywood examines the role of cinema during the reign of apartheid in South Africa.  A mosaic of clips from feature, documentary and propaganda films with commentary by writers, directors and actors, this film looks at the film makers whose films fought to destroy, and in some cases supported, apartheid.



The following is an except from an  H‑NET BOOK REVIEW, published by  Afrlitcine@h‑ (October, 1997) on the book on which the film, In Darkest Hollywood, is based.


Peter Davis.  In Darkest Hollywood:  Exploring the Jungles of Cinema's

South Africa.  Athens/Randburg, South Africa:  Ohio University

Press/Ravan Press, 1996.  vii + 214 pages.  Pictures, filmography, bibliography, articles, reviews, index.  $19.95 (paper) ISBN 0‑8214‑1162‑4 (Ohio articles, reviews, index.  $19.95 (paper) ISBN 0‑8214‑1162‑4 (Ohio University Press);  ISBN 0‑86975‑443‑2 (Ravan Press).


Reviewed for H‑Afrlitcine by Maureen N. Eke <>, Central Michigan University.


In the Introduction to his book, In Darkest Hollywood, independent filmmaker Peter Davis states:  "This book is about the power of cinema, and  about the devastating impact of a generic 'Hollywood' that is constantly  protesting that it is apolitical, even while it stamps stereotypes and

projects behavior that is as profoundly political as it is influential."  Davis's critique of Hollywood focuses on what he perceives as the  legendary film industry's influence on South Africa's popular culture.  Davis, however, resists using the term "cultural imperialism," stating that "people everywhere were not coerced into going to the cinema," but  "eagerly allowed themselves to be seduced into an addiction that is  well‑nigh incurable" (4).  But, since Davis likens Hollywood's  "eagerly allowed themselves to be seduced into an addiction that is well‑nigh incurable" (4).  But, since Davis likens Hollywood's overwhelming presence in South Africa to empire building, one wonders whether the same explanation of "voluntary seduction" could be used to explain European colonization of Africa.  The colonized must have "eagerly  allowed themselves to be seduced" into a state of subjugation.  This framework would make for an interesting and invigorating reading of cultural domination.


Davis argues that Hollywood's representation of Africa replicates European  imperialism in Africa, because Europe's "literature of empire that had come into being during the nineteenth century found its second wind in the cinema" (2), beginning with those made in "the earliest years of the century to the latest."  Most of these films "emphasized the supremacy of the white race, directly and indirectly justifying conquest.  Imperial and the white race, directly and indirectly justifying conquest.  Imperial and  racist images, messages, codes, cyphers, attitudes and behavior were copied indiscriminately" (2).  "Up to the present time, Hollywood perpetuates the ethos of empire" (2), he adds.  Consequently, Davis insists that, like Western subordination of Africans even in stories about  themselves, Hollywood's portrayals of Africans placed them only at the periphery of the story.  Africa, Davis says, "was a vast hunting ground for the white man, and when Hollywood seized on Africa, this was the Africa it offered" (2).  In Hollywood's Africa, "the pictures of the native people are scarcely distinguishable from those of the animal trophies" (2).


But Davis is not interested in exploring Hollywood's representation of  Africa, that is, the  continent.  His study is narrowly‑focused,  specifically on the impact of Hollywood on black  South African culture  and  the "creation" of black South Africa by subsequent film makers through and the "creation" of black South Africa by subsequent film makers through Hollywood's eyes.  Consequently, Davis' "principal concern is with an  image‑bank relating to South Africa, especially the way that black South  Africans have been presented on film, how the image‑bank changed (or significantly failed to change) during this century" (5).  Furthermore,  the study is not a "comprehensive history of cinema depicting that country [South Africa]."  It is rather a study of "selected genre films," the author asserts.  Also, the study does not include Afrikaans cinema or African‑language film, because those "categories are relatively  narrowcast."


Davis' book provides a detailed documentation and discussion of the history and often unexplained ideology behind several films about black South Africans and South Africa.  The book explores nearly ninety years of  film making which has transformed South Africa's popular culture.  Using a  combination of archival research and interviews, Davis unearths both the personal visions and politics of the film makers, the actors, as well as the interpersonal relationships and conflicts that developed during filmmaking.  Although the book occasionally reads like a popular magazine, especially when Davis delves into the private lives of the film makers, much of the information he provides about the historical and political conditions under which the films were made is not readily available to the novice of South African cinema.  The filmography at the end of the book identifies about ninety‑one films discussed, beginning with the D. W. Griffith's "The Zulu's Heart" (1908), which according to Davis is the earliest Western‑made film about South Africa, to "The Power of One," the latest and a conflation of "Rocky" and Robinson Crusoe.


From the inception of cinematic production in and about South Africa, the  film producers and directors were whites (either expatriate or South the  film producers and directors were whites (either expatriate or South African), while black South Africans and expatriate blacks were always cast in the roles of characters, a role which Davis describes as "adjuncts  to whites."  Despite this unequal relationship between the producers and actors/actresses there were a few periods which held out a ray of hope for  the emergence of black South African "voice," or presence in the cinema.  In the chapter "Towards a Black cinema in South Africa:  The Promise of  the 1950s," Davis asserts that the 1950s saw various experiments in "black  cinema" articulated through a foregrounding of "African" thematic concerns  and actors/actresses.  For instance, Africans began to play central roles in feature‑length entertainment films.  He credits this development to the  efforts of three "outsiders":  scriptwriter Donald Swanson and actor Eric Rutherford who formed a triad with Gloria Green, the daughter of a  efforts of three "outsiders":  scriptwriter Donald Swanson and actor Eric Rutherford who formed a triad with Gloria Green, the daughter of a wealthy South African Jewish family.  These "outsiders" interrogated established  Hollywood and white South African cinema traditions, which relegated  Africans to the margins, locating them off‑focus on the screen or almost  outside the frame of the picture.  According to Davis, these "outsiders"  asked, "why not [have]...a feature film, a full‑length entertainment film,  with African actors?'" (22).  Conceding that "it is certain the film they made, 'Jim Comes to Jo'burg,' was made with a particular kind of liberal sensibility, a kind that today is sometimes despised" (21), Davis  cautions, however, that "it is equally certain that without it, an  important part of South Africa's black heritage would be totally lost to  succeeding generations" (21).  His application of "black cinema,"  however,  is problematic.  He assumes that an African thematic content and an  all‑black cast signify "black cinema," even if the directors and producers all‑black cast signify "black cinema," even if the directors and producers are white.  The "new" cinema is defined as "African cinema"  because, at the time, black South Africans were "thrilled" to see themselves and  their culture represented on stage, even when such representations "upgraded" Hollywood's earlier images of the culture.


A similar muddying of terms is also evident in the discussion of "buddies," Davis' term for the friendships and collaborations which developed across the color line in the films produced outside South Africa  in the 1960s and later.  These interracial friendships which developed despite the increased racial divisions within South Africa are noticeable in films such as "Dingaka" (1964), "The Wilby Conspiracy" (1975), "The Gods Must be Crazy" (1980), "Cry Freedom" (1987), and "A Dry White Season"  (1989) to mention only a few.  Davis explains that the cross‑racial friendship existed only in a "fictive South Africa that bore little (1989) to mention only a few.  Davis explains that the cross‑racial  friendship existed only in a "fictive South Africa that bore little  resemblance to reality" (61).  He adds that "the stories showed a South  Africa where black/white friendship existed, by misrepresenting the harsh facts of real South African life" (61).


Ironically, the seemingly collaborative interracial environment which the films depicted were often ruptured by the intrusion of the political and social realities of apartheid South Africa into the lives of the black cast members.  Many of the black South Africans and expatriate blacks experienced various forms of racial discrimination, ranging from denial of  accommodation in hotels to police harassment.  Even as these actors and actresses were being recognized internationally, apartheid South Africa was denying their humanity.  In addition, these black artists did not have  the power to write or direct stories about their people.


On the contrary, in his concluding remarks, "A parting of the ways," the power to write or direct stories about their people. Davis perceives an improvement in the representation of black South Africans since D. W. Griffith's "The Zulu's Heart" (1908).  These improvements are evident especially in films produced by white South Africans.  He cites  "Shaka Zulu" (1986), "The Gods Must be Crazy" (1980), and "Mapantsula" (1988) as examples of films which end with choices for the Africans, pointing out that the choices made "are not those that whites in the films  would prefer" (189).  These choices, according to Davis, suggest "an advance in the way South Africa and its black inhabitants were perceived, at least by white South African film‑makers" (190).  Certainly, while "Mapantsula's"  anti‑apartheid message may be appealing, the other two films generally draw harsh criticisms from audiences, although Davis seems  to suggest otherwise.  Interestingly, while admitting that "Shaka Zulu" appropriated the old  stereotypical divisions of Africans into the "Savage Other" and "Faithful  Servant," Davis identifies this film as a "progressive" representation of Africans, because Shaka was "endowed with a personality, as opposed to making him a cipher."  Truly, the film's representation of Shaka as a corrupt, dictatorial, maniacal, and bloodthirsty leader would make an ideal prototype for African leadership and identities in future films!  The film was the project of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which under the apartheid government engaged in various forms of media propaganda for the then South African government.  Davis' conclusions also seem to accept the refashioned "Noble Savage" or "Man Friday" of "The Gods Must be Crazy."  We are invited to laugh and overlook the old exotic images of Africa‑‑wild animals, landscapes, strange and warring peoples for the sake of entertainment, especially, when the "Noble Savage" is given a personality and choice.  One can not resist wondering about the impact of Jamie Uys' closeness to the apartheid hegemony on his construction of the Africa and Africans seen in his film.


Structurally, the book is divided into several chapters, although it is often unclear whether or not Davis meant these divisions as chapters.  The  chapters are occasionally separated by a collection of photographs of actors, film makers, and shots from some of the movies under discussion.  In spite of these minor structural and perspectival weaknesses, the book is an invaluable resource of information on films about South Africa, especially those films which now may be archived or lost.  In addition,  Davis' interviews with several of the film makers, as well as his insightful discussions of the histories which inform both the subject matter, tone, and perspectives, help to foster more comprehensive interpretations of some of these familiar films.  Above all, this book, insightful discussions of the histories which inform both the subject matter, tone, and perspectives, help to foster more comprehensive interpretations of some of these familiar films.  Above all, this book, indeed, reveals the overwhelming presence of Hollywood in South Africa's cinema culture.  In general, In Darkest Hollywood is also a commentary on the consumption of Hollywood and American popular culture by many African national governments and their citizens.


Copyright (c) 1997 by H‑Net, all rights reserved.  This work may be copied for non‑profit educational use if proper credit  is given to the author and the list.  For other permission,      please contact H‑Net@h‑



This film might be used to provide background information to the teacher using African film in the classroom.  The film could also be used in film studies or communications courses.



EMITAI, 1971

101 minutes Diola and French with English subtitles

Director: Ousmane Sembene

Distributor:   New Yorker Films

Purchase Price: $175.00



Emitai is a historical film set in the final days of WWII.  The film depicts a conflict between the French colonialists and the Diola ethnic group of Senegal.  It is the Diola women who initiate the resistance.



“ ‘Film should be a school of history,’ says Ousmane Sembene of Senegal, widely considered the father of African cinema.  ‘We have to have the courage to say that in the colonial period we were sometimes colonized with the help of our own leaders.’


Sembene made these statements concrete with the 1971 premiere of Emitai, his visually rich and  complex drama set in the Diola society of rural Senegal.  Perhaps the ideas struck too close to home.  The film was immediately banned in Senegal, indeed throughout Africa.  Emitai tells the story of key incidents that took place in French colonial Senegal during the Second World War.  The film centers on attempts by the colonial administration to impose a new rice tax in a Diola village and the resistance that followed.  The community becomes divided over what strategy to take.  The traditional elders are backed into a corner and humiliated, while the village women adopt new tactics and take strong action.  In a series of startling and vivid scenes, visions of the gods appear to the elders, while in another part of the village women rapidly organize and hide the substantial rice crop.”


“Based on his own screenplay, Emitai was Sembene’s third drama and the film that launched his world reputation.  But reaching an international audience was not his aim.  Rather he wanted to communicate directly with the Diola society.  he is proud that the villagers ‘were happy to hear that there was a beautiful language for them.’  The film is not about the elders, or the women, the act of resistance, the cruelty of the French or the leading characters.  It is all these at once, touching on economics, social structure, religion and culture.  The pace may be slow for those of us raised on Hollywood action, but there is a richness of gesture and a symbolic language that holds the attention of any audience.”


(Critique quoted from a review by Peter Steven in New Internationalist, February 1996, p. 33.)



Cham, Mbye.  “Art and Ideology in the work of Ousmane Sembene and Haile Gerima.”                      PresenceAfricaine 129.1 (1984): 79-91.

Ghali, Noureddine.  “An Interview with Sembene Ousmane.”

  Film and Politics in the ThirdWorld. Ed. John D.H. Downing.  Brooklyn: Autonomedia, 1987.

Peters, Jonathan.  “Aesthetics and Ideology in African Film: Ousmane Sembene’s Emitai.

African Literature in Its Social and Political Dimensions.  Eds. Eileen Julien, Mildred

Mortimer, and Curtis Schade.  Washington, DC: Three Continents Press, 1986.

Vieyra, Paulin Soumanou.  “Five Major Films by Sembene Ousmane.”  Film and Politics in the

            Third World.  Ed. John D.H. Downing.  Brooklyn: Automedia, 1987.



This film can be used in college level African History, Anthropology, or Women’s Studies courses.




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

52 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Anne-Laure Folly

Distributor: California Newsreel

Purchase Price: $195.00

Rental Price:  $95.00



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.)



This film can be used in college level Anthropology, Sociology, and Women Studies classes.



FINYÈ (The Wind), 1982

100 minutes In French and Bambara with English subtitles

Director: Souleymane Cissé



This film depicts the romance of two young students in Bamako, Mali: Bah and Batrou.  Bah comes from a poor traditional family, while Batrou’s father is the governor, a cruel man who strives to prevent his daughter from building a relationship with Bah.  The governor, Sangaré, tampers with Bah’s high school exams and ensures his failure.  This leads to student demonstrations of protest.



“In 1980 in Mali, the student protest movement was brutally suppressed by the military regime. 

The student demonstrations in Finyé, sparked by the governor’s tampering with student test scores, refers back to this historical reality.  Cisse juxtaposes the optimism of the students with the corruption and violence of the military regime.  Although it is clear that the older generation has power, the film suggests that it is the next generation who offers hope for the future.


The tension between the traditional and the modern overwrites the generational conflict.  Kansaye, Bah’s father, confronts the governor and demands the release of his son.  Kansaye invokes the power of tradition and the power of the ancestors to support him.  The spirit of the ancestors warn him: “Our sciences have left us, the divine forces have abandoned us too; do as your own intuition and own initiative tell you.”  Nanyse burns his traditional costume as an act symbolic of his release form the binds of tradition.  He joins the student movement and the two generations join in a common struggle.  The film leaves us with a hopeful projection into Mali’s future.”


(Critique from  Schissel, Howard.  “Kicking Karate out of the Cinema.”  New African September (1983):  43-44.)



This film can be used in African Studies, History, Political Science, or Post-colonial Studies college courses.



FINZAN, 1989

107 minutes in Bambara and French with English subtitles

Director: Cheik Oumar Sissoko

Distributor: California Newsreel

Purchase Price: $295.00

Rental Price:  $95.00



In Bambara, finzan means “rebellion,” a most fitting title for this story of two women steadfastly resisting tradition.  After the death of her husband, Nanyuma refuses to bow to traditional protocol by marrying her brother-in-law.  The younger Fili tries to escape the ritual of female circumcision.  Sissoko deftly balances widely divergent points of view: the determined struggle of some women, the obedient tolerance of others, and the bewilderment of men lost in these times of transition.  The film subtly illustrates relations and conflicts between men and women, women amongst themselves, and finally the small community and the powerful state.



“Finzan is an impassioned cry for the emancipation of African women.  It is one of the boldest examples of socially engaged filmmaking to come out of Africa in recent years.  Malian director Cheick Oumar Sissoko has skillfully designed a film which raises the most urgent issues of rural life in a style accessible to every villager.  Finzan opens with graphic images of birth and motherhood -- its pain, its tenderness, its strength.  Finzan is about birth, African women giving birth to their own freedom.  Director Cheick Sissoko extends the traditional meaning of finzan, “a dance for the heroes,” by making a filmic tribute to African women.


At its most basic level, Finzan is the story of a woman who says no, no to the men who try to control her life.  Nanyuma, a young widow, resists when her brother-in-law, Bala, the village buffoon, claims his traditional right to “inherit” her as his third wife.  “Wife inheritance” is a common practice in West Africa, retaining a widow and her children as the property of the husband’s family.  Nanyuma escapes to her parents’ home where her mother shelters her but her father forces her to leave.  She flees to the city and finds it no more enlightened; she is kidnapped and returned to the village.  But a group of the local women support Nanyuma’s rebellion, threatening the structure of male privilege in the village.


A parallel story focuses on one of the most controversial issues in Africa -- clitoridectomy also called “female circumcision” or “excision.”  While health workers warn of the dangers of fatal infection, hemorrhaging and infertility, local tradition holds that circumcision discourages extramarital sex by attenuating women’s sexual drives.  Fili is a young city woman sent to Nanyuma’s village by her conservative father to “protect” her from urban vices.  When the villagers discover she is not circumcised, they insist on performing the ritual, even though Fili’s mother bled to death in childbirth and her doctor has advised against the operation.  Fili’s “difference” threatens the sexual identities of the villagers, especially the women, who attack her brutally.


Finzan presents a complex view of tradition.  Sissoko shows that it can empower the villagers to rebel against the businessmen and corrupt district commissioner who try to force them to sell their millet at a low price.  In Africa it is common for speculators to stockpile grain to resell to villagers at exorbitant prices in time of drought or famine.  On the other hand, defending the tradition of male privilege represents a futile “return to the sources,” a loyalty that weakens and divides rather than unites society.  The film’s final images show the village’s fragmentation.  Fili is rushed to the hospital and an unknown fate; Nanyuma and her children flee to a life of exile.


In contrast to the films of some Western ethnographic film makers, Sissoko does not romanticize the process of change.  He shows it as a violent rupture like birth itself.  For Sissoko the modernization of African cannot be partial, limited to one sex or one class; it must involve the total emancipation of society.”


(Critique quoted from Manthia Diawara’s article “Finzan: A Dance for the Heroes.”  California Newsreel  Library of African Cinema 1995-96 Catalogue,  pp. 7-9.)



Finzan can be used for studying Rural Sociology, Anthropology Women in Development, African Studies, and Cinema Studies.  It may  be useful for all Sociology classes.



LE FRANC, 1994

45 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Djibril Diop Mambety

Distributor:  California Newsreel

Purchase Price:  $195.00

Rental Price:  $95.00



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.)



This film could be used in college level literature, History, Political Science, or Film Studies courses.




115 minutes in Wolof and French with English subtitles

Director:  Ousmane Sembene

Distributor:  New Yorker Films



Guelwaar is a trenchant comic portrait of contemporary Africa.   The story revolves around the mysterious death and disappearance after death of Pierre Henri Thioune-Guelwaar, a political activist, philandering patriarch, and pillar of the local Christian community.



To the horror of his fellow Christians, it is discovered that the body of Pierre Henri Thioune, called Guelwaar, the Noble One, was misidentified and mistakenly buried in a Muslin cemetery.  This sets off a tempest of  bureaucratic red tape, family conflicts, and religious factionalism, culminating in a tense standoff at the disputed grave site. 


Sembene is a master storyteller.  This film demonstrates his mastery of free-flowing, digressive, richly variegated structures.  It is many films in one: comedy, political allegory, social satire, family drama, and, at the end, thunderous indictment of the twin evils of homegrown African corruption and neocolonial Western aid.



This film can be used in college level courses that consider international development and contemporary African politics.


HARVEST: 3,000 YEARS, 1975

138 minutes in Amharic with English subtitles

Director: Haile Gerima

Distributor:  Mypheduh Films

Purchase Price:  $34.99



This film is a dramatization of a peasant family’s struggle for survival on the farm of a wealthy landowner in Ethiopia.


In its depiction of Ethiopian peasant life and the struggle to survive, Harvest: 3,000 Years is unique and excellent.  The use of a fictionalized, ethnographic style allows the audience to become involved with the family portrayed and to understand their needs and aspirations.  Though the filmmaker espouses a specific political viewpoint, this viewpoint does not measurably affect the accuracy of the lifestyle presented.  The photography combines with a slowly paced editing style to reflect the centuries of long struggle expressed by the title.  Some background information may be necessary for certain audiences.



This film can be used in anthropology, history, political science, sociology, and film studies courses.  The film should be preceded or followed by background of Ethiopia on land tenure and social sciences.




94 minutes in Jula and French with English subtitles

Director: Dani Kouyati

Distributor:  California Newsreel

Purchase Price:  $195.00

Rental Price:  $95.00



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, Keota 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 Keotas' 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 Keota 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 Keota (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 Keotas 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.)



This film can be used in African literature and African history courses at all levels. 



LA VIE EST BELLE (Life is Rosy), 1986

85 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Ngangura Mweze and Benoit Lamy

Distributor: California Newsreel             

Purchase Price: $59.95



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 Fashionabel 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.)



La Vie Est Belle can be used in African Studies, Ethnomusicology, Popular Culture, and Cinema Studies courses.



LUMUMBA: LA MORT DU PROPHETE (Lumumba: Death  of a Prophet ), 1992

69 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Raoul Peck

Distributor:  California Newsreel

Purchase Price:  $195.00

Rental Price:  $95.00



This film reviews the life of Patrice Lumumba, first president of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of

The Congo).



Lumumba: la mort du Prophete offers a unique opportunity to reconsider the life and legacy of one of

the legendary figures of modern African history. Like Malcolm X, Patrice Lumumba is remembered

less for his lasting achievements than as an enduring symbol of the struggle for self-determination.

This deeply personal reflection on the events of Lumumba's brief twelve month rise and fall is a

moving memorial to a man described as a giant, a prophet, a devil, "a mystic of freedom," and "the

Elvis Presley of African politics." If Lumumba is a film about remembering, it is even more a film

about forgetting. It is not so much a conventional biography as a study of how Lumumba's legacy has been manipulated by politicians, the media and time itself. Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck meditates on his own memories as the privileged son of an agricultural expert working for the regime which displaced Lumumba. He examines home movies, photographs, old newsreels and contemporary interviews with Belgian journalists and Lumumba's own daughter to try to piece together the tragic events and betrayals of 1960.


A film essay in the tradition of Night and Fog or The Sorrow and the Pity, Lumumba explores how any image inevitably represses the multiple stories surrounding it, how the past a preserved by the media is always in a sense the hostage of history's winners. Therefore present-day Europe figures as prominently in Lumumba as the Congo in 1960, because Europe was the unseen hand behind the camera and the events leading to Lumumba's assassination. Peck presents an unfamiliar Europe seen through the eyes of a visitor from the Third World - cold, affluent, a guilty present trying to forget its past. Yet, as this film testifies, Lumumba's prophecy will not be silenced until Africa achieves its second independence where the promises of the first can be fulfilled.



This film is suitable for college level African Studies, African Politics,

and African History courses.




49 minutes in Waikiriki and English with English subtitles

Director: Ngozi Onwurah

Distributors:  California Newsreel

                      Women Make Movies

Purchase Price:  $195.00

Rental Price:  $95.00



Monday’s Girls explores the conflict between modern individualism and traditional communities in

today’s Africa through the eyes of two young Waikiriki women from the Niger Delta.  Although both come from leading families in the same town, Florence looks at the iria  initiation ceremony as an honor, while Azikiwe, who has lived in the city for ten years, sees it as an indignity.



“Monday's Girls explores the conflict between modern individualism and traditional communities in today's Africa through the eyes of two young Waikiriki women from the Niger delta. Although both come from leading families in the same large island town, Florence looks at the iria women's initiation ceremony as an honor, while Azikiwe, who has lived in the city for ten years, sees it as an indignity. Ngozi Onwurah, director of such feminist classics as Coffee Coloured Children and Body Beautiful, herself an Anglo-Nigerian, turns a wry but sympathetic eye on the cross-cultural confusions.


The five week long iria ritual is overseen by post-menopausal women headed by the redoubtable Monday Moses (hence the title.) The girls are paraded bare-breasted before the entire community so their nipples can be examined to determine whether they are still virgins. They are then confined to the "fattening rooms," their legs immobilized in copper impala rings, where they are pampered and fed. Finally, the girls, now women, are presented to society, wearing yards of fabric around their waists indicating each family's wealth - and suggesting pregnancy.


The film traces the girls' contrasting responses to each stage of the ritual. Florence, who is Monday's granddaughter, comments at the end of the ceremony, "I'm not fat, but I am grown up now," but even she decides to postpone marriage until she completes her education. Azikiwe refuses to bare her breasts and, as a result, her father is fined by the outraged villagers and she is sent back to the city in disgrace. She concludes: "There are some traditions people should forget."   Monday's Girls calls into question the idea of a single, "ethnographically correct" representation of tradition. Rituals are revealed as fluid, polysemous texts, social contracts continuously renegotiated between individuals and communities. For millions of Africans like Azikiwe, tradition is increasingly seen as a matter of individual choice not social coercion.”

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



This film can be used in College Level Women’s Studies, Anthropology, and African Studies courses.



OUAGA, 1988

52 minutes

Directors:  Kwate Nee-Owoo and Kwesu Owusu

Distributor:  African Diaspora Images

Rental Price:  $50.00



This is a documentary film on contemporary African cinema.  It features interviews of several African filmmakers and strives to introduce the New African Cinema to Western audiences.  The two African directors explore the fascinating and distinctive work of African filmmakers, particularly their use of traditional culture as the basis for their emerging new film language.  Leading filmmakers discuss issues of production, distribution and exhibition as well as the social and political impetus behind their work.



This film is suited for Cinema Studies or African film courses. 




80 minutes in French with English subtitles

Director: Jean-Pierre Bekolo

Distributor: California Newsreel

Purchase Price:  $195.00

Rental price:  $95.00



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)



This film might be used in college level Film studies, Women’s Studies, or African Film courses.




102 minutes in Portuguese with English subtitles

Director: Sarah Maldoror

Distributor:  New Yorker Films

Rental Price:  $175.00



This film is a dramatization of one family’s role in the Angolan struggle for independence,

Domingos Xavier is arrested for his involvement in the liberation struggle.  The film chronicles the

search undertaken by Xavier’s wife Maria.



Sambizanga is a fine film suitable for general audiences using high quality filmic techniques to

present a simple story.  The early scenes of Xavier and his family at home, seemingly removed

from the oppression of the Portuguese and the risks of the liberation struggle, are moving and

provide a striking contrast to the rest of the film.  However, Sambizanga is also a unique document

of the day- to-day existence of a family in Angola during this period.  Maria’s journey in search of

her husband is also a journey for the audience.  She begins in total ignorance of her husband’s role

in the liberation struggle and so do we.  Though lacking in factual material, Sambizanga presents

the network of the struggle which goes beyond the color line and includes a varied representation of the

Angolan population.  This film is particularly useful when used with films produced later in the

struggle to show the beginnings of the movement which led to armed struggle.


This is one of the few African films made by an African woman and which includes women’s




Sambizanga can be used in social science, international politics, history, and women’s studies

courses.  A factual introduction to the liberation struggle in Angola should be provided before

showing the film in the classroom.




125 minutes in English

Director:  Haile Gerima

Distributor:  Mypheduh Films

Purchase Price:  $39.99



Sankofa is an Akan(Ghana) word that means, "We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today." Written, directed and produced by Ethiopian-born filmmaker Haile Gerima, Sankofa is a powerful film about Maafa-the African holocaust.



“Done from an African/African-American perspective, this story is a vastly different one from the generally distorted representations of African people that Hollywood gives us. This revolutionary feature film connects enslaved black people with their African past and  culture. It empowers Black people on the screen by showing how African peoples desire for freedom made them resist, fight back, and conspire against their enslavers, overseers and collective past through the vision on Mona, who visits her ancestral experience on a new world plantation as Shola. We share the life she endures as a slave and experiences her growing consciousness and transformation. “


(Critique quoted from Mypheduh Online Catalogue.)



This film can be used in upper level History and African American History classrooms.




33 minutes with English voice-over

Director: Safi Faye

Distributor: Women Make Movies



This is a documentary film about Selbe, a village woman from Senegal.  The film details her life,  her work, and her family as well as the social structure and customs of the village.



This film would work well in college level Women’s Studies or Anthropology classrooms.





45 minutes in Swahili and Kimakonde with English subtitles

Director: Flora M’mbugu-Schelling

Distributor: California Newsreel 

Purchase Price: $195.00

Rental Price:  $95.00



In These Hands, the camera acts as a compassionate witness to a day in the life of Mozambican

women refugees working in a quarry outside Dar es Salaam - the relentless toil, the tender care, the

nostalgic songs and joyous dancing at day’s end.  We slowly come to recognize that these women

are, in fact, parts of a giant machine, not just the quarry but the international economic system as a




“Who would have suspected that a 45 minute documentary about women crushing rocks, without

narration or plot, would offer one of the most unforgettable and rewarding experiences of recent

African cinema? Flora M'mbugu-Schelling's quiet tribute to women at the very bottom of the

international economic order ultimately deepens into a mediation on human labor itself. These Hands

will stimulate viewers to rethink documentary and to question their own role as consumers in a

global economy.


Director Flora M'mbugu-Schelling has explained why she refused to interpret or romanticize these

women's story, to reduce them to a simple political pose or anthropological point. "Certain things

you can say with words and certain things you cannot find words for...The time has passed when we

can use the classic documentary style. I don't want to offend my audience by telling them what they

should see or feel." It is precisely this refusal of premature closure that makes viewers so much more

aware of their relationship to the film and its protagonists.


In These Hands, the camera acts as a compassionate witness to a day in the life of Mozambican

women refugees working in a quarry outside Dar es Salaam - the relentless toil, the tender childcare,

the nostalgic songs and joyous dancing at day's end. We slowly come to recognize that these women

are, in fact, parts of a giant machine, not just the quarry but the international economic system as a

whole. The rocks, the women, the scarred landscape, are being constantly ground into the common

currency of industrial civilization. As the film unspools, we, the viewers, look on powerless and

complicit, realizing we too are enmeshed in this global mechanism of social, economic and

ideological reproduction. “


(Critique quoted from California Newsreel’s on-line catalogue at



This film is best suited for college level courses in Film, Women’s, and African Studies, or




TOUKI BOUKI (The Journey of the Hyena), 1973

85 minutes in Wolof with English subtitles

Director: Djibril diop Mambety

Distributor: California Newsreel

Purchase Price:  $195.00

Rental Price:  $95.00



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 Saaraba and 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





54 minutes in English

Director: Pratibha Parmar (with Alice Walker)

Distributor: Cinenova

Purchase Price: $295.00



Warrior Marks is a film about female genital mutilation from the director of A Place of Rage, presented by

the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple. It attempts to discuss some of the cultural and

political complexities surrounding the issue.  Interviews with women from Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso,

the United States and England who are concerned with and affected by genital mutilation are intercut with

Walker’s own personal reflections on the subject.  The film has attracted both positive and negative




This film can be used in Women’s Studies and African Studies classes.



WEND KUUNI (God’s Gift), 1982

70 minutes in Moré with English subtitles

Director: Gaston Kaboré

Distributor: California Newsreel

Purchase Price: $150.00

Renal Price:  $95.00



In Wend Kuuni Gaston Kaboré incorporates oral storytelling qualities as he details the story of a

child who is traumatized by the death of his mother and adopted by a warm family.  The film takes

the audience to the period before colonialism.



“The story is set in pre-colonial times in the Mossi empire of the 15th century.  While the story

seems very simple, it deals with issues that are still important.  The movie begins with a scene

where a woman is mourning because her husband has disappeared.  She does not know if he is

dead, but he has been gone for so long that the village community is pressing her to marry another

man.  Viewers don’t know when this scene is happening, today or hundreds of years ago.  But she

decides to run away with her son, because she does not want to marry somebody else.


The action then shifts and we see a traveler finding a child lying in the bush, nearly dead from

thirst.  When the traveler revives the boy, he asks him where he came from.  But the child cannot

speak, even though he hears what the traveler is saying and understands him.  The man leaves the

child with some villagers.  These people can’t locate the child’s relations and let a family with just

one child adopt him.  They give the child the name Wend Kuuni, which means God’s gift.  After a

few years a family quarrel causes such a scandal in the village that the man whose wife does not

want him hangs himself.  Wend finds the body, and he is shocked into speaking again.  Then the

daughter of the family, Poguere (Rosine Yanago), who is very fond of Wend, asks him to tell her

where he came from.  It is then that viewers see what happened to the mother shown at the

beginning of the movie.  We see her and her child being chased from her village for being a

“witch.”  After running as far as she can, she collapses from exhaustion and dies while her child is

sleeping.  When he wakes up, he sees that she is dead.  He runs away from his mother’s body,

collapses, and is found by the traveler.


A strong message in Wend Kuuni is that life before colonization was not perfect for everybody.

Many scenes in the movie make traditional life look democratic, but it also shows that people were

hardly equal at all.  Women have no power and even girls like Poguere are punished more often

and more severely than boys.  Perhaps Wend Kuuni shows that people today need to remember

traditions, but that with democracy news traditions have to be negotiated.”


(Critique by Keyan Tomaselli, Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, University of Natal,




Diawara, Manthia.  “Oral Literatures and African Film: Narratology in Wend Kuuni.”  Questions of Third Cinema.  Eds. Jim Pines and Paul Willeman.  London: British Film Institute, 1989.




Wend Kunni can be used in African Studies, Ethnology, Anthropology, and Cinema Studies

classes. The film is appropriate for all levels of instruction.







YAABA, 1989

90 minutes with English subtitles

Director: Idrissa Ouedraogo

Distributor: New Yorker Films



This feature film is a haunting tale of a young boy who strikes up a friendship with an old woman

who has been shunned as a witch by her community.  The boy demonstrates his affection for the old

woman by calling her “Yaaba,” which means grandmother.



This film is appropriate for all levels of instruction and can be used in African Studies courses.



YEELEN, 1987

105 minutes with English subtitles

Director: Souleymane Cissé

Distributors:  California Newsreel

Purchase price: $350.00



Yeelen is an innovative adaptation of the oral traditions on the Bambara people of Mali.  The film

tells the story of Nianankoro, a young warrior destined to destroy a corrupt older society.



“Yeelen explores the primordial conflict between old and new, between father and son, which cannot

help but remind Western viewers of the Oedipus myth.  In order to maintain the status quo, Somo

Diarra, the father, must prevent his son, Nianankoro, from learning the secrets of the feared Komo

cult.  The elders of the Bambara villages even now join this priestly caste which monopolizes

knowledge of medicine, hunting and the occult.


Nianankoro must find the wing of Kore, a long wooden scepter symbolizing knowledge, which alone

can destroy Komo.  His mother gives him a missing piece of the wing and tells him to flee the

Bambara land and find his father’s identical twin, the blind prophet, Djigui, (played by the same

actor) who will give him the rest of the wing.


Nianankoro’s mother offers milk to the goddess of water, the mother of life, to protect him during

 his journey.  Along the way, Nianankoro kills his other uncle, Baafing, who tries to stop him.  He

crosses the land of the Peul or Fulani where the king gives him a wife, Attou, who will bear

Nianankoro a son.


After traveling 500 miles, Nianankoro finds Djigui in the mountains of the land of the Dogon.  His

uncle tells him of a dream which accuses the Komo of using its knowledge for power rather than to

advance science.  As a result, Djigui predicts their descendants will become slaves who will regain

their freed freedom only after many years. 


Meanwhile, in a forest, Somo Diarra and the rest of the rest of Komo practice their secret ritual and

decide to destroy Nianankoro before he finds the key to their destruction.  His father  tracks

Nianankoro with the pestle (or post) of the Komo, traditionally used by the Bambara to find lost

objects, including thieves.  In a final showdown, Nianankoro and his father, armed with the wing of

Kore and the pestle, not only destroy each other but scorch the Earth.  Attou and Nianankoro’s son

survive to start a new civilization; destruction gives birth to a cleansed society.


Like all of Cissé’s films Yeelen ends as it begins.  The globe of the sun rises on a day and a child

finds his way into the world.  This reflects the Bambara’s sense of time as circular not linear.  In

the West, clock time proceeds inexorably forward towards an undefined future.  Bambara time

starts and stops, moves at different speeds for different people, ultimately to reencounter its own

beginning.  In Cissé’s African vision of science fiction the future lies inevitably in the past.


The flash of light, of unmediated brightness, which ends the film destroys image, language,

narrative, the overweening pride of human knowledge.  It brings us face to face with the Big Bang

of our own creation.  Past and future are reunited; only we in the present must remember and



(Critique quoted from Manthia Diawara’s article “Seeing Brightness.”  California Newsreel

Catalogue. 1995-96.)  



Sherzer, Dina, ed.  Cinema, Colonialism, Postcolonialism. Austin:University of Texas Press, 1996.



Yeelen can be used in World Civilization, Comparative Literature, Folklore, African Studies,

Anthropology, and Ethnology classes.



C.  Distributor Information


African Diaspora Images

P.O. Box 3517

Brooklyn, NY 11202

Tel.:  (718)-852-8353


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


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


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


a. H-NET Lists




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.



H-AFRICA is co-edited by Mel Page of East Tennessee State University, Harold Marcus of

Michigan State University, Peter Limb of University of Western Australia, and Tim Carmichael of

Michigan State University, who may be reached at:


Mel Page

History Department, East Tennessee State Univ.

P.O. Box 70672                                                        

Johnson City, TN  37614

phone:  423-439-6802/fax:  423-439-5373


Harold Marcus

History Department

Michigan State University 

East Lansing, MI 48824

phone:  517-353-8821/ fax:   517-349-8267


Peter Limb

University of Western Australia 

Nedlands 6907, W.A. Australia

phone: +61 9 380 2348/fax:  +61 9 380 1012


Tim Carmichael

History Department

Michigan State University 

East Lansing, MI  48824        

phone:  517-355-9300/fax:  517-355-8363


H-AFRICA also has an editorial board broadly representative of the state of the discipline.

H-AFRICA EDITORIAL BOARD, Cynthia Brantley [Board Chair], Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch

Philip D. Curtin, Eugenia W. Herbert, Nancy Jacobs, Laird Jones, Martin A. Klein, Cora Presley



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 editorialboard, 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



H-AfrArts is co-edited by Michael Conner of Indiana University and Raymond Silverman of

Michigan State University, who may be reached at:


Michael Conner, 821 West Sixth Street, Bloomington, IN 47404-3633,          voice phone: 812-334-0131, fax phone: 812-323-1438


Raymond Silverman, Art Department, 313 Kresge Art Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1119, voice phone: 517-353-9114, fax phone: 517-432-3938


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, Youraffiliation


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

(HumanitiesOnLine), 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.


Currently, H-AfrLitCine is co-edited by Professors Kenneth W. Harrow of Michigan State University, Sandra Barkan of the University of Iowa, Robert Cancel of the University of California

at San Diego, Thomas A. Hale of Pennsylvania State University, Aliko Songolo of the University of Wisconsin, Emmanuel Yewah of Albion College, and Emilie Ngo-Nguidjol of the University of Wisconsin. The network is also advised by an editorial board of international scholars broadly representative of the state of the discipline. H-AfrLitCine is officially sponsored by the African Literature Association. 


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:







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


If you have any questions about H-AfrLitCine, we will be glad to try to answer them; please send inquiries directly to either: Carmela Garritano,, Kenneth W. Harrow,


(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.


H-AfrTeach has a staff of volunteer editors and an editorial board, each representing a broad range of interests and backgrounds, including teachers, professors, and students. We also cooperate with the H-Net Teaching Project in the promotion of improved teaching through internet collaboration.


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, Youraffiliation


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 is edited by Keith Tankard at the East London campus of Rhodes University. He may be reached at the following address: Keith Tankard, History Department, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 7426, 5200 EAST LONDON, South Africa,, phone: +431-22539,

fax: +431-438307


Editorial Board

H-SAfrica also has an Editorial Board which is broadly representative of the many facets of our

historical discipline. The Board currently consists of (in alphabetic order): Roger Beck, Eastern, Illinois University, Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, AJ Christopher, University of Port Elizabeth, Donald Denoon, Australian National University ,Robert Edgar, Howard University, Peter Limb, University of Western Australia, Muchaparara Musemwa, University of South Africa, Tim Nuttall, Pietermaritzburg campus of Natal University, Mel Page, East Tennessee State University

Christopher Saunders, University of Cape Town, Keith Tankard, East London campus of Rhodes University



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 ot

subscribe h-safrica Firstname Lastname, Youraffiliation


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 Lists


(1)  African-Cinema-Conference

From: owner-african-cinema-conference@XC.Org

Subject: Welcome to african-cinema-conference


MAFxc is a service of Mission Aviation Fellowship.  If you would like to be able to create your own conferences, or further information about other MAFxc services including e-mail forwarding and WWW server facilities, please send a message to Also check out our WWW site  at


Welcome to the MAFxc african-cinema-conference conference!  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


Here's the general information for the conference you've subscribed to, in case you don't already have it:  Info on african-cinema-conference [Last updated on: Mon Feb 12 18:55:45 1996].  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.  This original list is people that have agreed to receive "email press releases" from DSR over 1994/5.  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.


We encourage all members to send in bits of information to be posted to all. Also we encourage all members 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.


Your moderator, Steve Smith (


If you need any further assistance regarding the african-cinema-conference conference, contact owner-african-cinema-conference .


If you need assistance with MAFxc hub operation, contact helpdesk@XC.Org. 



c. Web Sites On African Film And Related Topics                       



Site includes: Awards Winners; Fespaco'97; Publications; The African film library;  information on Burkina Faso.


_    A list of extracts and biographical data on African literature writers is at:



_    Also included are Francophone African poets available in English translation:



It also includes links to other sites, such as:

H-African Literature & Cinema.



_    "In the World of African Literatures"

A site developed by the French Dept. at the University of Western Australia

in Perth:  includes a bibliography of Francophone African women writers (in French), unpublished interviews, an unpublished novel, and a novel for young readers.





_    A revised, enlarged (May 1997) version of "A_Z of African

Studies on the Internet" is now available at:



_    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.




The Norwegian Council for Africa is at:



II. Internet Resources for Africa and African Studies

(October, 1997)


1. Africa Links at MSU


African Studies Center -

(includes weekly Tuesday Bulletin newsletter of African studies resources, African  Media Program, Study Abroad Programs, and African Studies Outreach Resources)

John Metzler (Outreach Coordinator) and David Wiley (Director)

phone: 517-353-1700; email:,

address: 100 International Center, MSU, East Lansing, MI 48824-1035


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


Office for International Students and Scholars -

David Horner, Director, phone: 517‑353‑1720, email:

     address: 103 International Center, MSU, East Lansing, MI 48824-1035


MSU Office of Study Abroad - http://study‑

Cindy Chalou, Assistant Director, phone: 517‑353‑8920,

address: 109 International Center, MSU, East Lansing, MI 48824-1035


AFRI database of Africana materials in 18 major U.S. university libraries - (then choose: MAGIC via TN3270;

tab twice down to “command” line and type “dial magic”;

then choose “4 - indexes to articles”; then choose AFRI)


2. Africa-related Organizations


African Studies Association -                              


Africa News On-Line -


Association of Concerned Africa Scholars -


Africa Policy Information Center/Washington Office on Africa -                        


California Newsreel (major U.S. distributor of African video & film) -


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


3. 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)


4. Websites indexing many Africa internet resources and weblinks:


H-Africa Internet Sources - http://www.h‑


Africa on the Internet: Starting Points for Policy Information -                                     


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


Africa Weblinks and Resource List (U. Pennsylvania)-                                                   


Africa South of the Sahara: Selected Internet Resources -                                                                   http://www‑


Africa News Resources -


5. Study Abroad and International Student & Scholar Resources


State Department Travel Warnings & Consular Information Sheets -


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - travel health information


Immigration and Naturalization Service at the Department of Justice -



+ Council of Advisers to Foreign Students and Scholars (CAFSS):                                  

+ Section on U.S. Students Abroad (SECUSSA):                                                                                           Oct. 18, 1997