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Spencer Museum of Art
University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

7:00 PM - 8:20 PM
A Lot like You
Eliaichi Kimaro (80m, Tanzania)

Eliaichi Kimaro is a mixed-race, first-generation American who traces her father's footsteps back to a coffee farm on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. There she discovers both the beauty and the brutality of this world her father left behind 40 years earlier. This film raises questions about the cultures we inherit and the cultures we choose to pass down, and reveals how simply bearing witness to another's suffering can break silences that have lasted lifetimes.

8:25 PM - 9:20 PM
Body and Soul (De corpo e alma)
Matthieu Bron (54m, Mozambique)

The film tells the stories of three young Mozambicans with physical disabilities, living in the townships of Maputo, Mozambique's capital city, performing dance, the art of the body. The documentary follows the daily lives of these three young Mozambicans and reveals their physical, psychological and emotional challenges. In a world where visual input (physical appearance, clothes, etc.) is a powerful basis for social judgment and positioning, the film tries to explore the way they look at themselves and others as well as raises universal questions about self-acceptance and how to find one's place in society.

9:25 PM - 11:05 PM
Family Portrait in Black and White
Julia Ivanova (99m, Canada)

Olga Nenya, from a small Ukrainian town, is raising sixteen black orphans in the country of Slavic blue-eyed blonds. The reality of growing up as a bi-racial child in Eastern Europe, a rare and truly visible minority, is not for the faint of heart. These children always have to be on guard against the world that surrounds them.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

7:00 PM - 8:25 PM
Surfing Soweto
Sara Blecher (85m, South Africa.)

Over the course of the last 3 years Cinga Productions has been following and documenting the lives of three of the most notorious train surfers in Soweto: Bitch Nigga, Lefa and Mzembe. We have followed them on to the top of trains hurtling through Soweto. We have followed them into the heroin dens of Hilbrow, and jails with names like Sun City - all in the hope of understanding their frustrations and documenting the lives of the new generation of youth in Soweto. Surfing Soweto is the story of this forgotten generation.

8:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Street Journeys
Tracy Christian (58m, USA)

For the street children of Nairobi, hope for the future is dim-until renowned Kenyan actress Anne Wanjugu lifts their spirits and awakens their joy through the power of the theater. Given a home and the chance to express their gifts on stage, the orphaned children flourish, but an unexpected event puts their resilience to the test as they journey from down-and-out Nairobi to the bright lights of Broadway.

9:35 PM - 10:55 PM
The Creators: South Africa through the eyes of its artists
Laura Gamse (81m, South Africa)

Step into the lives of six artists sculpting South Africa's future from the fragments of a tumultuous past. The Creators explores the chaotic reality of modern day South Africa by peering through the eyes of its artists. Born into separate areas of the formerly-segregated country, the individuals reinterpret history in their own artistic languages. Weaving through the lives of Faith47 (street art), Warongx (Afro-blues), Emile (hip-hop), Sweat.X (performance), Blaq Pearl (spoken word) and Mthetho (opera), the film culminates in an intertwined multi-plot. As we grow closer to the individuals, we notice stark differences in their perspectives, exposing an intimate, refreshing, and deeply revealing portrait of those remolding the legacy of apartheid.

11:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Shooting Freetown
Kieran Hanson (29m, UK)

A decade since Sierra Leone's devastating civil war, from the ashes rises a new dawn of creativity in audio-visual media. Inspired by Jean Rouch's 'shared anthropology' and 'ethno-fiction', Shooting Freetown follows three people forging their way in film and music in the nation's capital, facing the constant struggles with vision and resourcefulness. By incorporating collaborative video projects, their stories give a fresh image of post-war Freetown - presented to the world through their own lens.

Friday, April 27, 2012

7:00 PM - 7:51 PM
Sunday in Brazzaville (Dimanche a Brazzaville)
Enric Bach (51m, Spain & Congo)

A young radio talk host, Carlos La Menace, unveils in his weekend show three figures of Congo's capital, Brazzaville. The Sapeur Yves Saint Laurent, surrounded by extreme poverty, chooses elegance as a way of life. Cheriff Bakala is not a usual rapper. Finally, Palmas Yaya, Brazzaville's wrestling champion is relying on voodoo to defend its throne in a crucial moment of his life...

8:00 PM - 9:36 PM
The Story of Lovers Rock
Menelik Shabazz (96m, United Kingdom)

In the 70s and 80s Britain was rife with racial tension and police harassment particularly against black British youths. These youths were the rebel generation who were also searching for an identity. They created music - a sub-genre of reggae known as Lovers Rock. This music became a global brand through artists like UB40 and Maxi Priest.

9:45 PM - 10:43 PM
Twilight Revelation: Episodes in the Life & Times of Emperor Haile Selassie
Yemane I Demessie (58m, Ethiopia, USA)

The documentary film explores and analyzes watershed events during the reign of the former Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie. Using a wealth of archival footage and photographs, the documentary reexamines the imperial administration through the eyes of numerous notable individuals who played substantive roles and worked closely with the emperor. The featured witnesses include former ministers, a general, a state attorney and a judge, parliamentarians, high ranking civil servants and staff from the royal court. It also featured members of the royal family including his grandchildren. The observations and narratives of these individuals shed a new light on the personality, leadership style and the myth behind Ethiopia's last emperor.

10:45 PM - 11:05 PM
18 Days
Tarek Abouamin (19m, Egypt)

In an 18-day popular uprising that toppled a decades-long oppressive regime, the people of Egypt rose to change the social and political landscape of the region and the world. Many Egyptians paid with their lives in a fight against corruption and autocracy. They fought bravely for basic civil liberties, justice and freedom from a government that tortured, murdered its citizens, and embezzled billions of public money. Countless people risked their lives to tell the story to the world. This film is made with footage shot by protesters, revolutionaries, and everyday Egyptians.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

1:00 PM - 2:18 PM
Kontinuasom: A Documusical from Cape Verde
Oscar Martinez (78m, Spain, Cape Verde, Portugal.)

Betti lives in her homeland -Cape Verde- where she is a dancer in the company Raiz do Polon. When she is offered the chance to join a Cape Verdean music show in Lisbon and launch a new career for herself in Portugal, it sets off a deep and essentially Cape Verdean conflict inside -the identity constructed over the centuries by the diaspora of her people. Doubts and feelings of melancholy and homelessness hang over her and accompany her as she attempts to make her decision.

2:20 PM - 2:36 PM
Jacquelyn Lobel (16m, USA)

Tengenenge is a village of sculpture artists located in a remote region of Zimbabwe. The film explores the history of the village, and reveals a slice of life in Tengenenge, a community that has withstood the odds and continues to survive because of its people's passion, energy and solidarity. Tengenenge is a glimmer of joy and optimism in a country on the brink of collapse.

2:40 PM - 3:30 PM
The World's Youngest Nation: South Sudan
Viktor Pesenti (50m, UK, USA)

After 60 years of civil war, the Republic of South Sudan has emerged as the world's youngest nation. The documentary filmed on location in the Republic of South Sudan, explores the emergence of a new nation from civil war and its many hurdles. The Republic of South Sudan is not only the world's newest nation but it is also one of its youngest, with 70 percent the population being under 30 years of age. Yet it is the youth who give the new nation hope. Through the eyes of five Southern Sudanese youths, this documentary explores not just the politics of the country but also the creativity and courage of its youth in art, music, sports and education.

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Murder in Mesopotamia
Andy Abrahams Wilson (14m, USA)

A young mother, much loved in her hometown of Mesopotamia, is brutally shot to death in this poor village of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. The cold-blooded murder happened a day before she was to give court testimony against a man accused of raping her. Circumstances point to the accused rapist as the killer, but he is set free for lack of evidence. The townsfolk and victim's family talk poignantly about their fears and their desire for justice - vigilante or divine. "An eye for an eye…and a tooth for a tooth," originating in ancient Mesopotamia, takes on modern-day meaning in a village of the same name.

3:50 PM - 5:30 PM
Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit
Ndahayo Gilbert (100m, Rwanda, USA)

Signed cinema-verite, 'Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit' was filmed over the course of three years in Rwanda and devastatingly contemplates a young film-maker's drama in first person as he confronts his parents' murderer in Rwanda's trials and post-genocide realities. This documentary is an unforgettable quest of forgiving and unforgiving the mass murderers.

5:35 PM - 6:18 PM
Donsoya, The Way of the Hunter (Donsoya, la voie du chasseur)
Sebastien Bariller (43m, France, Mali).

We invite you to discover the amazing world of the West African traditional hunters' brotherhoods. Most precisely, you'll get introduced to malinke master hunters in Mali, who'll explain the goals and rules of their ancient society.

7:00 PM - 8:22 PM
Fambul Tok
Sara Terry (82m, USA)

Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war come together for the first time in an unprecedented program of tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies. Through reviving their ancient practice of fambul tok (family talk), Sierra Leoneans are building sustainable peace at the grass-roots level -- succeeding where the international community's post-conflict efforts failed. Filled with lessons for the West, this film explores the depths of a culture that believes that true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals - and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities.

8:30 PM - 9:44 PM
Indochina: Traces of a Mother (Indochine Sur Les Traces D'une Mere)
Idrissou Mora Kpai (74m, Benin, France)

Between 1946 and 1954, over 60,000 African soldiers were enlisted to fight the Viet Minh. Pitted against one another by circumstances, these two colonized peoples came into contact and a number of African soldiers took Vietnamese women as wives. Out of these unions, numerous mixed-race children were born. At the end of the war, the colonial army ordered that all the black children be repatriated to Africa, officially to protect them from the Viet Minh. While some children left with their mothers and fathers, others were simply taken away by their fathers, leaving their mothers behind. Abandoned in orphanages, those that had neither mother nor father were put up for mass adoption by African officers, as was the case with Christophe. Christophe long avoided facing the scars and identity complexes left by this abrupt separation from his mother and homeland. By encouraging him to undertake a journey into his own past, the film opens a little-known chapter of the Indochina war.

9:50 PM - 10:50 PM
400 Miles to Freedom
Avishai Mekonen, Shari Rothfarb Mekonen (60m, USA)

In 1984, the Beta Israel, a secluded 2,500-year-old community of observant Jews in the northern Ethiopian mountains, fled a dictatorship and began a secret and dangerous journey of escape. Co-director Avishai Mekonen, then a 10-year-old boy, was among them. 400 MILES TO FREEDOM follows his story as he breaks the 20 year silence around the brutal kidnapping he endured as a child in Sudan during his community's exodus out of Africa, and in so doing explores issues of immigration and racial diversity in Judaism.

10:50 PM - 11:00 PM
Goodbye Mandima (Kwa Heri Mandima)
Robert-Jan Lacombe (10m, Switzerland, DR Congo)

As a 10-year-old born and growing up in Mandima, the small village in northeast part of Democratic Republic of Congo (then still Zaire), Robert-Jan Lacombe, the son of European parents, never thought he would have to say goodbye. In this poignant short documentary, the director looks back on his unique and carefree childhood while studying a panoramic photograph documenting the day he left behind the only way of life he had ever known.



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