“The word griot… is the word for what I do and the role that the filmmaker has in society… The griot is a messenger of one’s time, a visionary and the creator of the future.” — Djibril Diop Mambéty
This year’s weekender, which will take place in person, will explore the ways colonialism seeps into our ways of being; how it shapes them and their values; and how it enforces a notion of ‘progress' which destroys the very communities that could counter this colonial logic. We also wanted the films to document resistances - communities that sought other ways and other logics, those who fought back with arms and with their own bodies when that’s all that they had. We have also programmed films which in some way showcase the legacies and resistances to colonialism both in the past and the present, and to reflect on the feeling that little has changed.
Saturday 13 November - from 1pm, free
Mandabi (1968), dir Ousmane Sembène, 1pm
Mandabi explores the insidious nature of colonialism, it’s omnipresence and the ways it moves through capital. Hyenas captures this through the main protagonists brutal line "This world has made me a whore so I’ll turn this world into a whorehouse". This ever mutating and ever-present colonialism turns into tragicomic absurdity in Mandabi as the main protagonist tries to cash a money order in a society reeling from French domination. These two films explore in their own unique ways the legacies of colonialism and the impact of modernity.
Panel - An introduction to African Anticolonial Cinema with Awa Konate, Imruh Bakkari and Tomisin Adepeju, 4pm
This is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection (2019), dir Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, 7pm
This is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection joins this programme with a simple but spellbinding story of a community pushed out by so called progress and development in Lesotho. Both Hyenas and It’s Not a Burial show communities in flux, values changing and being challenged and the brutal hand of capitalism and colonialism which leaves very little space for those to live outside of its grip. But again, a space is carved out for resistance in a heart stopping finale in ‘It’s Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection’. Although This is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection and Hyenas were made nearly three decades apart they work very well as companion pieces, centring Black women trying to make sense of the world they find themselves in, to find solace, revenge and resistance, in their own communities.
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