International Studies and Programs

Missouri History Museum

 

Missouri History Museum
5700 Lindell Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63112-0040

Friday, February 24, 2012
10:00 AM - 12:00 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), Blaq000 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.

Who is Wright
Mike Mo, Kevin D'Angelo (25m, USA)

Step into the daily struggle of a young beat and rap artist from South Philadelphia who fights to keep his dream alive in spite of certain family dilemmas. In documenting the daily life of Julius Wright, a beat artist and MC, the film reveals the unnerving realities with which many young South Philadelphians live. Angered at the world and his position in the gun-battle and drug-riddled environment surrounding him, Julius attempts to find solace in rap beats that he and his peers perform. As "Lyrical God", his rap persona, he strives for acceptance in the local hip-hop community. Music may be Julius' way out. He has the ability to bring people together through his beats; however, he struggles to bring his own family together.

4:00 PM - 6:05 PM

Real Voodoo
Sandra M. Whiteley (52m, Haiti, Canada)

In January 2010 a few days after Haiti suffered a massive earthquake, evangelical leader Pat Robertson went on air to blame the devastation on Haitians' 'pact with the devil' He was talking about Voodoo Was he right? Is Voodoo evil? To find out we decided to ask 'What is Voodoo? After many trips to Haiti pre and post-earthquake you know what we found? This is not Pat Robertson's Voodoo. It is something else. We think we have seen the Real Voodoo and we think you will be amazed when you see it too

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.

6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Give a Damn?*
Dan Parris (92m, USA)

The documentary is about three friends from St. Louis, two Christian idealists and one militant atheist, who agree to attempt to live in extreme poverty, on $1.25 a day, across 3 continents to discover their responsibility to the poor. The story follows them as they leave their homes in St. Louis, hitchhike across the United States, backpack across Europe and travel to Africa. The film takes a devastating turn when two of them survive a deadly plane crash in Africa, and all three must fight in their own way to finish what they started.

*8:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Open discussion with the film director of and two of the films' subjects following the screening of "Give a Damn?"

The Great Mafia Orange Squeeze
Sophia Luvara (28m, UK)

Italy's Southern region of Calabria behaves like a rogue State. Here, the 'Ndrangheta (Calabrian Mafia) hold sway. They are the de facto Government, the de facto law and, in the countryside, the main employer. Thousands of African Immigrants have found this out the hard way. Quasi legal migrants, coming direct from Africa are drowning to Calabria by the work - harvesting oranges. What awaits them is pure misery and semi-slavery. They become trapped by government bureaucracy and by poverty. Their employers are the Mafia, so they have little course to complain about the level of wages. They cannot leave Italy, they don't have the right papers, yet they cannot join society, because they have not got the right papers. On one night in January this year, two of them were shot by the locals in Rosarno. The mostly young African men rioted in this small backwater town, which is dominated by the Ndrangheta.

Saturday, February 25, 2012
1:00 - 3:05 PM

Brother Time
Wesley Shrum (56m, Kenya, USA)

Brother Time is a mythic tale of neighbors from different tribes caught in a wider conflict. Kenya erupted in ethnic violence after the 2007 Presidential election, and the two friends fell apart when, suddenly, it was 'not the brother time.' Filmed in the Rift Valley during the clashes, the roots of tribalism are explored as one who saw the worst of the conflict returns home to see his neighbor. To be released during the 2012 Presidential campaign, this message of hope shows it can be Brother Time once again.

No More Selections! We Want Elections!*
Sengbe Kona Khasu (70m, Liberia)

In 2005, the Liberian people took to the polls to vote for a president. It would be the nation's first democratic elections since the bloody coup of 1980. From former child soldiers to village elders, Liberians gathered at voting booths (many for the first time in their lives) to vote for a president from a field of 23 eager candidates. The Liberian people chose Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a former World Bank employee, over soccer superstar George Manneh Weah after two rounds of voting, making her Africa's first democratically elected woman President. Emphasizing the voices of Liberia's largely unheard majority, the documentary film chronicles this amazing story, capturing the hopes of a people struggling to rise and rebuild from a difficult past.

*3:05 PM - 3:35 PM
Open discussion with James Roberts one of the film makers of "No More Selections! We Want Elections!"

4:00 PM - 6:00 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. The documentary 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.

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.

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

We Want What's Ours (Sifuna Okwethu)
Bernadette Atuahene (19m, South Africa, USA)

We Want What's Ours is a documentary short filmed in South Africa and is about loss, resistance, identity and the elusiveness of justice as experienced by the Ndolila family in their quest to get back their family land stolen by the apartheid government in 1973. Standing in their way are working class black homeowners who purchased portions of the Ndolila's land in the 1990s. For the homeowners, the land and houses they have legally purchased are a reward for their hard work. For the Ndolilas, the land is part of their family legacy and hence deeply intertwined with their identity. Both sides have a legitimate right to the land, but whose rights will prevail?

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.

We Win or We Die
Mathew Millan (21m, Libya, USA)

February, 2011. The people of Benghazi revolt against the brutal regime of Moammar Gaddafi. Yet standing in the way of liberation is the 2-mile sprawling fortress known as the Katiba. Holding hundreds of soldiers and heavy artillery, it stands poised to rain death down upon the protesters. The film is the story of an ordinary Libyan who understands that there is but one way to stop the bloodshed and one way to gain freedom. The sprawling fortress, the fist of Gaddafi, the Katiba must fall...

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